Author

Jordan Pitt

Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Chemistry

Keywords

Nanoplastics

Abstract

Plastics are ubiquitous in aquatic environments, accounting for 50-80% of marine debris (Barnes et al., 2009). The hazard of macroplastics (particles with a diameter > 5 mm) is well established, with records of countless different species ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris (Laist, 1997). Recently, the degradation of macroplastics debris in the ocean and the beach litter into microplastics and nanoplastics has become a significant concern and an increasingly important area of research (Andrady, 2011). Despite this increase in concern relatively little is known about the presence of micro and nanoplastics in freshwater systems or about their potential toxicity to the aquatic organisms dwelling within those systems. This knowledge gap needs to be filled in order to determine the best course of action in limiting any negative effects within aquatic ecosystems.

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