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Synergistic effect of microplastic fragments and benzophenone‐3 additives on lethal and sublethal Daphnia magna toxicity

Abstract  pdf link to report

The interactive effect of polyethylene microplastic (MP) fragments and benzophenone‐3 (BP-3) additives on Daphnia magna was assessed in the present study. The 48 h median effective concentration (EC50) revealed that MP fragments (37.24 ± 11.76 μm; 3.90 mg L-1) were over 80 times more acutely toxic than polyethylene microbeads (37.05 ± 3.96 μm; 323 mg L-1), possibly because of their irregular shape and high specific surface area. Moreover, the addition of BP-3 (10.27 ± 0.40% w/w) to MP fragments (MP + BP-3) resulted in greater acute toxicity to D. magna (EC50 = 0.99 mg L-1) compared to MP fragments (EC50 = 3.90 mg L-1) or BP-3 (EC50 = 2.29 mg L-1) alone. Additionally, MP + BP-3 exposure induced a synergistic increase in reactive oxygen species, total antioxidant capacity, and lipid peroxidation in D. magna. These synergistic effects can be attributed to enhanced bioconcentrations of BP-3 in D. magna caused by MP fragments. These findings suggest that MP fragments containing chemical additives represent a synergistic ecological risk and have the potential to harm aquatic organisms.


Graphical abstract


acute toxicity
plastic additives

About the author

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Dryden has unique knowledge combination of biology, chemistry and technology and is the inventor of the activated, bio-resistant filter media AFM®. Dr. Dryden is one of the world`s leading experts in sustainable water treatment.

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Life on earth depends upon healthy Oceans, we have 10 years to stop toxic chemical pollution, or life on earth may become impossible

Dr. Howard Dryden, CSO

Goes Foundation

Roslin Innovation Centre
The University of Edinburgh
Easter Bush Campus
Midlothian EH25 9RG