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2019 | 131 | 256-267
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Uptake of Microplastics by Plant: a Reason to Worry or to be Happy?

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Microplastic (MP, 1 μm − 5 mm) pollution has become a global environmental concern with potential risk to ecosystem and human health. Information on the accumulation of MPs in aquatic species has been well documented, while information on the uptake and accumulation of MPs by higher plants is still very scarce. Terrestrial edible plants are directly exposed to MPs when soil was applied with sludge, organic fertilizer, plastic mulching, waste water irrigation, plastic littering, surface runoff or from atmospheric deposition of airborne MP. One study using fluorescent marker recently showed that plant can accumulate MP through uptake from MP polluted soil. Thus, potentially contaminating the base of the food-web and also indicating new exposure route to MP ingestion. This review present a discuss of the implication of these findings to human, who may be ingesting an estimated 80 g of MP through eating of plant daily as global consumption rate of plant continually increase. Also, benefit for the terrestrial ecosystem is discussed, by which plant acts as a potential remediator of MP polluted soil either by phytoextraction, phytostabilization and phytofilteration. We conclude by pointing knowledge gap and suggesting key future areas of research for scientists and policymakers.
Physical description
  • Group Research in Analytical Chemistry, Environment and Climate Change (GRACE&CC), Department of Chemistry, Imo State University (IMSU), PMB 2000 Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
  • Group Research in Analytical Chemistry, Environment and Climate Change (GRACE&CC), Department of Chemistry, Imo State University (IMSU), PMB 2000 Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
  • Department of Environmental Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
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