John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Microplastics: Addressing ecological risk through lessons learned

Plastic litter is an environmental problem of great concern. Despite the magnitude of the plastic pollution in our water bodies there is still limited scientific understanding about the risk for the environment, particularly for microplastics. The apparent magnitude of the problem calls for quickly developing sound scientific guidance on the ecological risks of microplastics. We suggest future research into MP risks should be guided by lessons learned from the more advanced and better understood areas of (eco)toxicology of engineered nanoparticles and mixture toxicity. Relevant examples of advances in these two fields are provided to help accelerate the scientific learning curve within the relatively unexplored area of MP risk assessment. Finally, we advocate an expansion of the “vector effect” hypothesis in regards to microplastics risk to help focus research of MP environmental risk at different levels of biological and environmental organization. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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