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Microplastics (<5 mm) are distributed ubiquitously in natural environments. The majority of microplastics in aquatic environments are shown to have rough surfaces due to various weathering processes (secondary microplastics; SMP), while laboratory studies predominantly utilise pristine microplastics (primary microplastics; PMP). Here we present the results from a study comparing the chronic effects of pristine PMP and artificially weathered SMP to three different Cladoceran species (Daphnia magna, Daphnia pulex, Ceriodaphnia dubia). We assessed the impact of PMP and SMP on reproductive output using various measured parameters, including time of first brood, size of first brood, size of first three broods, cumulative number of neonates, total number of broods and terminal length of test animals. Our results show that reproductive output of all species declined in a dose-dependent manner. The No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) was less than the lowest tested concentration (10 p/mL) for at least one measured endpoint for all species and both PMP and SMP. Further, it was inferred that species sensitivity varied inversely with body size for most endpoints, resulting in C. dubia being the most sensitive species; and D. magna being the least sensitive species under study. In addition, PMP appeared to have greater toxic potential as compared to SMP. This study is the first to directly compare the chronic toxicity of both pristine and weathered microplastic particles on three freshwater toxicological model organisms. Our results indicate that sensitivity in reproduction and growth to microplastics may differ between species and type of microplastic exposed; highlighting the importance of using multiple species and structural types of particles.
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Name: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
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Preventive dental services provided for students in primary and secondary schools.