A study on textile microfiber contamination in the gastrointestinal tracts of Merluccius merluccius samples from the Tyrrhenian Sea

Submitted: 21 December 2023
Accepted: 29 February 2024
Published: 28 March 2024
Abstract Views: 168
PDF: 14
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The increased demand and consumption of synthetic textiles have contributed to microplastic pollution in the form of microfibers. These particles are widely spread in the aquatic environment, leading to the exposure of marine biota, including edible species. The current study aimed to assess the extent of microfiber contamination in a commercially relevant fish species, Merluccius merluccius, which is considered a small-scale bioindicator for the monitoring of plastic ingestion in the Mediterranean coastal environment. The frequency of ingestion, abundance, and composition of textile microfibers isolated from the fish gut were characterized. Results showed the occurrence of microfibers in 75% of the samples, with a mean number of 10.6 microfibers/individual, of which 70% were classified as natural microfibers. The spectroscopic analyses confirmed both the visual identification of microfibers and the prevalence of cellulosic fibers. The obtained findings provided evidence of both natural/artificial and synthetic microfiber exposure in an important commercial fish species that, considering the consumption of small individuals without being eviscerated, may be a potential route of microfiber exposure in humans. Monitoring programs for fishery products from markets are needed to assess contamination levels and human health risks. In addition, measures to control microfiber pollution need to occur at multiple levels, from textile industries to international governments.

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Santonicola S, Volgare M, Schiano ME, Cocca M, Colavita G. A study on textile microfiber contamination in the gastrointestinal tracts of <i>Merluccius merluccius</i> samples from the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2024 Mar. 28 [cited 2024 May 18];13(2). Available from: https://www.pagepressjournals.org/ijfs/article/view/12216


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