Preliminary survey on the occurrence of microplastics in bivalve mollusks marketed in Apulian fish markets

Submitted: 4 October 2022
Accepted: 7 February 2023
Published: 8 June 2023
Abstract Views: 1523
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Microplastics (MPs) are a relevant threat to food safety because they are ingested by humans through various foods. Bivalves are at high risk of microplastic contamination due to their filter-feeding mechanism and pose a risk to consumers as they are ingested whole. In this work, microplastics were detected, quantified, identified, and classified in samples of mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and oysters (Crassostrea gigas) marketed in the Apulia region. The total number of plastic debris was 789 particles in the mussel samples and 270 particles in the oyster samples, with size ranging from 10 to 7350 µm. Fragments with size within the category of 5-500 µm were the predominant findings in both species, with blue as the predominant color in mussels and transparent in oysters; most of the debris was polyamide and nylon polymers in the mussels and chlorinated polypropylene in the oysters. These results show that mussel and oyster samples purchased at fish markets are contaminated with microplastics. The sources may be diverse and further studies are needed to assess the impact of the marketing stage on microplastic contamination in bivalves to better define the human risk assessment associated with microplastic exposure from bivalves consumption.

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