Evaluating the Bioaccessibility of Chemicals from Plastics

2111 words (8 pages) Essay

23rd Sep 2019 Sciences Reference this


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Evaluating the Bioaccessibility of Chemicals from Plastics using a Novel Dietary Adapted Physiologically Based Extraction Test (DAPBET) Method for Fish Eating Seabirds

Part A:

Working project title:

Evaluating the Bioaccessibility of Chemicals from Plastics using a Novel Dietary Adapted Physiologically Based Extraction Test (DAPBET) Method for Fish Eating Seabirds.


The research project conducts high-quality experiments to address the hypothesis that fish oil will increase the in vitro bioaccessibility of metals from plastics in the digestive systems of marine animals.


          Conduct a literature review on the presence of metals and chemicals in plastics. It can identify the harmful chemical which can affect the seabird.

          The research report produces an accurate and clear record of all experimental procedures in a high quality A4 laboratory notebook that will be available to other researcher students in the future.

          To evaluate the Bioaccessibility of Chemicals from Plastics form using a Novel Dietary Adapted Physiologically Based Extraction Test (DAPBET) Method for Fish Eating Seabirds.

          Use the portable XRF technique to measure the metal concentrations in all collected sample. The sample includes plastic litters which are collected from UK beach, electronic waste and University repository of reference plastics which is collected by Dr Andrew Turner.

          Conduct a thorough statistical analysis of the in vitro bioaccessability data and to critically discuss my results in the context of marine animal digestive physiology.

          Use the portable XRF technique to measure the metal concentration in all sample.

Chapter plan:

  1. Introduction

    1.  Background information
    2.  Aim
    3.  Objective
  2. Literature Review

    1.  Presence of metals and chemicals in plastics
    2.  How metal and chemicals affect seabird
  3. Methodology

    1.  Collected sample location and date
    2.  Metal Concentration by using the portable XRF technique

      1.      Principle
      2.      Equipment
      3.      Procedure
    3. Novel Dietary Adapted Physiologically Based Extraction Test (DAPBET) Method

      1.      Principle
      2.      Equipment
      3.      Procedure
  4. Results

    1.  Metal Concentration
    2.  Novel Dietary Adapted Physiologically Based Extraction Test (DAPBET)  Method
  5. Improvement
  6. Discussion

6.1 Effect of seabirds

  1. Conclusion
  2. Appendix

Part B: Literature Review

Nowadays, plastic litter become a serious problem in global. Human produces 335 million tons of plastics per year. It includes microplastic and Nano plastic. Plastic is a persistent pollutant which is highly acclimated in the organism’s body. Plastic can be determined as three types: Marco plastics(>5mm), microplastics(<5mm) and Nano plastics(<100nm). Plastic can easily brought into the sea by multiple pathways around the world. Such as beach litter, atmosphere transport and some fishing activities. (Purvaja, et al., 2018)The plastic pollutant causes the adverse effect to both human and ecosystem.

  Firstly, Plastic waste increases sharply and affect human health, tourism and economic. Because of convenience, plastic use in daily life popular. Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental issues worldwide. Citizens use these kinds of product in our daily life. Plastic waste was made by food packaging, replacing the metals and making some safety equipment. (N. Hahladakis, et al., 2018).

Example for (Purvaja, et al., 2018)in India, the coastal area has the different degree of pollution which contain domestic, agricultural and industrial activities These kinds of human activities cause visible pressure including eutrophication, depletion of dissolved O2, and increased turbidity to the fragile diverse coastal environment. Most obvious coastal pollution hotspots include urban centers, river mouths, ports and harbour, fish landing centers, cultural tourism and destinations beaches. Many Countries is facing the same problem.

Human impacts can change the natural status of physical, chemical and biological components of marine ecosystems which causing overexploitation, changes of environmental interactions and loss of habitat and biodiversity. Coastal areas are particularly subjected to human pressure since most of the anthropogenic activities (i.e.: harbour, refinery, shipyard) are located in these zones. (D’Alessandro, et al., 2018)

Nevertheless, the economic losses from marine pollution near the Pearl River estuary from China were 5040 million US dollars per year (accounting for 16.5% of the total economic value of the marine ecosystem). More recently, the 2010 oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon disaster currently has total estimated costs of $37.2 billion although others suggest costs could be up to $63 billion (Hutchinson, et al., 2013).

  Secondly, Plastic contains different types of harmful metal and chemicals. There also exists a substantial body of literature which describes plastic. Plastics include many types of chemicals, such as polypropylene(PP), polyvinyl chloride(LDPE) and high-density polyethylene(PVC). Plasticizer is one of it. It includes Phthalic esters(PAEs), DPP, DEHA and DOA etc. Plasticizers will release during the PVC production. Also, it can increase the impact resistance of the plastic product. Antioxidants use as additives in the plastic. It can the whole oxidative degradation of plastic when it is uncovered under the sun light. This chemical is usually used in food packaging. It includes arylamines, phenolics and organophosphites. Heat stabilizers can avoid thermal degradation when the food processor is exposed under high temperature. It includes PVC, PVDC and vinyl chloride copolymers. There, it has two type of heat stabilizers (primary and secondary). Primary heat stabilizer contains mixed metal salt blends, organotin compound and lead. Secondary heat stabilizer has alkyl organophosphites, epoxy compounds and beta-diketones. It can easily find in the food packaging. Slip agent can reduce the melt viscosity. It includes fatty acid amides, fatty acid esters and waxes. Unreacted monomers and oligomer are one of the additives. It will absorb by human body and contains BADGE which is toxic. (N. Hahladakis, et al., 2018).

However, Studies such as (Kedzierski, et al., 2018) show that plastics also contain metal ions such as copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and chromium (Cr). These ions are involved at low concentration, in molecules transport and cell signaling pathways to control essential cellular processes in all living organisms. However, heavy metals can be adsorbed by plastics such as cadmium and lead.

Thirdly, Plastic cause serious damage to seabirds and marine life. Seabirds are used frequently as sentinels of ocean health. (L. Grant, et al., 2018) had found that seabirds are affected by debris predominately through entanglement and ingestion, with the number of species with documented entanglements increasing from 51 species in 1997 to 147 in 2017.Actually, (Chae & An, 2017) provide the result that microplastics were found in mesenteric tissue within the coral gut. It is seen that exposure to a high concentration of microplastics can damage the health of corals. In the other way, Microfibers entered the crab’s body. It passed through the foregut and finally were incremented in the form of distinctive balls. Ingested microfibers were associated with reduced food consumption by crabs which caused a significant reduction in the amount of energy available for growth (also called scope for growth). These studies provided evidence of the biotransformation of microfibers and showed that microfibers can adversely affect marine crabs.

A scientific article by (Wan, et al., 2018) had said that microplastics and nanoplastics have been shown to cause various adverse effects on aquatic organisms, ranging from growth inhibition, developmental delay and altered feeding behavior in aquatic animals to decrease of photosynthetic efficiency and induction of oxidative stress in microalgae.

While a study by (Turner, 2018), the inadvertent or incidental consumption of indigestible plastics by birds feeding, then it is foraging may result in starvation. It’s damage to the digestive tract and reduced growth.

Many harmful chemicals will appear in plastic products. It highly destroys our immune system and the ecosystem. It causes endocrine disruption, linked to asthma, developmental and reproductive effects. Humans use additives to increase the performance of the plastic. (Turner & S. Lau, 2016) indicated that bird exposure under Pb is known to cause both lethal and sublethal effects. The latter may be observed at low concentrations in the liver and feathers, and include loss of appetite, drooped wings, lethargy, tremors, and impaired locomotion and balance


Understanding the main causes, the distribution and the sources of microplastic pollution is essential to develop appropriate policies and laws. To carry out sustainable management of marine resources especially in global coastal environments. Nowadays, microplastics in the marine environments represent one of the emerging problems in the world. This type of pollution is creating a serious global concern among governments, scientists and organizations It must pose a significant threat to human security and environmental protection.

In conclusion, Plastic become a serious problem in the world. All countries need to solve this problem. No country can stay out of the way.

Part C:Gantt chart

Reference list:


  • Chae, Y. & An, Y.-J., 2017. Marine Pollution Bulletin. j.marpolbul.2017.01.070, pp. 624-632.
  • D’Alessandro, M. , 2018. Environmental Pollution. 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.08.002, pp. 1546-1556.
  • Hutchinson, T. H., Lyons, B. P., Thain, J. E. & Law, R. J., 2013. Marine Pollution Bulletin. j.marpolbul.2013.06.012, pp. 517-525.
  • Kedzierski, M. , 2018. Marine Pollution Bulletin. j.marpolbul.2017.12.059, pp. 684-694.
  • L. Grant, M. , 2018. Marine Pollution Bulletin. j.marpolbul.2018.10.016, pp. 96-103.
  • N. Hahladakis, J. , 2018. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.10.014, pp. 179-199.
  • Purvaja, R. , 2018. S etc cience of the Total Environment. j.scitotenv.2018.07.242, pp. 1388-1399.
  • Turner, A., 2018. Environmental Pollution. 0.1016/j.envpol.2018.01.023, pp. 1020-1026.
  • Turner, A. & S. Lau, K., 2016. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.08.005, pp. 265-270.
  • Wan, J., Chu, W., Kok, Y. & Lee, C., 2018. Distribution of microplastics and nanoplastics in aquatic ecosystems and their impacts on aquatic organisms, with emphasis on microalgae. 10.1007/398_2018_14, pp. 133-158.

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