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Are Agricultural Soils Dumps for Microplastics of Urban Origin?

Authors: Luca Nizzetto, Martyn Futter, Sindre Langaas

Due to their ubiquitous distribution and chemical composition, microplastics (MPs) are increasingly being recognized as a global concern. While it is widely acknowledged that MPs in the ocean are a serious issue with potentially negative effects on marine organisms, information about MPs in terrestrial and freshwater environments is fragmentary.

Based on new MP emission estimates in industrialized countries, we suggest that widespread application of sewage sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to farmlands is likely to represent a major input of MPs to agricultural soils, with unknown consequences for sustainability and food security.

Publication: Environmental Science & Technology

Publisher: American Chemical Society

Date: Oct 1, 2016

Citation: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, 50, 20, 10777–10779

Please find the full article here.

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