Effects of microplastics on the terrestrial environment : A critical review

Dissanayake, P.D. and Kim, S. and Sarkar, B. and Oleszczuk, P. and Sang, M.K. and Haque, M.N. and Ahn, J.H. and Bank, M.S. and Ok, Y.S. (2022) Effects of microplastics on the terrestrial environment : A critical review. Environmental Research, 209: 112734. ISSN 0013-9351

[thumbnail of Dissanayake_ENVRES_MP preprint]
Text (Dissanayake_ENVRES_MP preprint)
Dissanayake_ENVRES_MP_preprint.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (553kB)


Microplastics are emerging contaminants and there has been growing concern regarding their impacts on aquatic and terrestrial environments. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge regarding the sources, occurrences, fates, and risks associated with microplastic contamination in terrestrial environments. This contamination occurs via multiple sources, including primary microplastics (including synthetic materials) and secondary microplastics (derived from the breakdown of larger plastic particles). Microplastic contamination can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on soil properties. Additionally, microplastics have been shown to interact with a wide array of contaminants, including pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and antibiotics, and may act as a vector for contaminant transfer in terrestrial environments. Microplastics and their associated chemicals can be transferred through food webs and may accumulate across multiple trophic levels, resulting in potential detrimental health effects for humans and other organisms. Although several studies have focused on the occurrence and impacts of microplastic contamination in marine environments, their sources, fate, transport, and effects in terrestrial environments are less studied and not well understood. Therefore, further research focusing on the fate, transport, and impacts of microplastics in relation to soil properties, polymer composition and forms, and land-use types is needed. The development of standardized and harmonized methods for analyzing microplastics in soil-plant ecosystems is essential. Future work should also consider the many interactions of microplastics with soil quality and ecotoxicological impacts on biota in the context of global environmental change.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Research
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environmental Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environmental Research, ?, ?, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.112734
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? contaminantsmicroplasticssoil propertiestoxicitytrophic transfersoil sciencepollutionbiochemistryenvironmental science(all) ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Feb 2022 16:30
Last Modified:
13 Jun 2024 01:54