Transgenerational impacts of micro(nano)plastics in the aquatic and terrestrial environment


Plastic particles of diameters ranging from 1 to 1000 nm and > 1 µm to 5 mm are respectively known as nanoplastics and microplastics, and are collectively termed micro(nano)plastics (MNPs). They are ubiquitously present in aquatic and terrestrial environments, posing adverse multifaceted ecological impacts. Recent transgenerational studies have demonstrated that MNPs negatively impact both the exposed parents and their unexposed generations. Therefore, this review summarizes the available research on the transgenerational impacts of MNPs in aquatic and terrestrial organisms, induced by exposure to MNPs alone or in combination with other organic and inorganic chemicals. The most commonly reported transgenerational effects of MNPs include tissue bioaccumulation and transfer, affecting organisms’ survival, growth, reproduction, and energy metabolism; inducing oxidative stress; enzyme and genetic responses; and causing tissue damage. Similarly, co-exposure to MNPs and chemicals (organic and inorganic pollutants) significantly impacts survival, growth, and reproduction and induces oxidative stress, thyroid disruption, and genetic toxicity in organisms. The characteristics of MNPs (degree of aging, size, shape, polymer type, and concentration), exposure type and duration (parental exposure vs. multigenerational exposure and acute exposure vs. chronic exposure), and MNP-chemical interactions are the main factors affecting transgenerational impacts. Selecting MNP properties based on their realistic environmental behavior, employing more diverse animal models, and considering chronic exposure and MNP-chemical mixture exposure are salient research prospects for an in-depth understanding of the transgenerational impacts of MNPs.

Authors: Muhammad Junaid, Shulin Liu, Guanglong Chen, Hongping Liao, Jun Wang
; Full Source: Journal of hazardous materials 2022 Oct 28;443(Pt B):130274. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.130274.