Plastic debris can act as a source of hazardous chemicals in the ocean, but the significance of its role in the environment is not yet known. To address this question, a comprehensive field study of highly contaminated and non-contaminated islands was conducted. Comparison of the plastic additive hexabromocyclododecanes and ubiquitous contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls in marine invertebrates showed that the load of stranded plastics plays a significant role in the bioaccumulation of plastic additives in the marine debris-contaminated island. Fugacity analysis indicates that net flow of hexabromocyclododecanes occurred from plastics to environmental reservoirs. Additionally, significantly higher levels of antioxidants, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol and butylated hydroxytoluene, was found in the marine invertebrates inhabiting the marine debris-contaminated island than those inhabiting the marine debris-noncontaminated island, but ultraviolet stabilizers did not show the regional difference. This study provides the first field evidence that the movement of plastic debris in the ocean drives the dispersal of plastic additives to pristine waters.
Authors: Mi Jang, Won Joon Shim, Gi Myung Han, Youna Cho, Sang Hee Hong
; Full Source: The Science of the total environment 2022 Sep 19;856(Pt 1):158893. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158893.