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Presence and characterization of microplastics in fish of commercial importance from the Biobio region in central Chile

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POZO Karla Andrea GOMEZ Victoria Antoineta TORRES Mariett VERA Luciano NUNEZ Dariela OYARZUN Patricio MENDOZA Gonzalo CLARK Bradley FOSSI Maria Cristina BAINI Matteo PŘIBYLOVÁ Petra KLÁNOVÁ Jana

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Microplastics; Microfibers; FTIR; Fish species; Biobio region; Chile
Description In this study we have identified and characterized microplastic particles (MPs) found in six fish species of commercial importance in central Chile. The fish species belong to different trophic levels and were obtained from the oceanic and coastal habitats. To analyze MPs, the fish gastrointestinal content was extracted, analyzed and characterized using a microscopy equipped with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The MPs found in fish samples were mainly constituted by red microfibers (70-100%) with sizes ranging between 176 and 2842 tun. Polyester, polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were identified as the prevalent polymers detected. The coastal species showed the presence of microfibers with a higher size and abundance (71%) compared to oceanic species (29%), suggesting there is a greater exposure risk. These findings are consistent with results found in other investigations worldwide. However, further research is still needed to accurately establish the potential exposure risk for the public consuming these fish and the impact of MPs in the Chilean fishery activities.
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