Research progress on distribution, sources, identification, toxicity, and biodegradation of microplastics in the ocean, freshwater, and soil environment
Abstract • Microplastics are widely found in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. • Cleaning products and discarded plastic waste are primary sources of microplastics. • Microplastics have apparent toxic effects on the growth of fish and soil plants. • Multiple strains of biodegradable microplastics have been isolated. Microplastics (MPs) are distributed in the oceans, freshwater, and soil environment and have become major pollutants. MPs are generally referred to as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter. They consist of primary microplastics synthesized in microscopic size manufactured production and secondary microplastics generated by physical and environmental degradation. Plastic particles are long-lived pollutants that are highly resistant to environmental degradation. In this review, the distribution and possible sources of MPs in aquatic and terrestrial environments are described. Moreover, the adverse effects of MPs on natural creatures due to ingestion have been discussed. We also have summarized identification methods based on MPs particle size and chemical bond. To control the pollution of MPs, the biodegradation of MPs under the action of different microbes has also been reviewed in this work. This review will contribute to a better understanding of MPs pollution in the environment, as well as their identification, toxicity, and biodegradation in the ocean, freshwater, and soil, and the assessment and control of microplastics exposure.