Info from Vrije Universiteit

In IMPASSE, the department of Ecological Science of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is working on the toxicity and bioaccumulation of microplastics in representative species of soil invertebrates.

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Pictures showing some of the test organisms Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are working with.

The test organisms include earthworms (Eisenia fetida/andrei), enchytraeids (Enchytraeus crypticus), springtails (Folsomia candida), isopods (Porcellio scaber) and oribatid mites (Oppia nitens). Test organisms are exposed to microplastics mixed in with a natural soil or with food.

After 3-4 weeks of exposure, effects are determined on endpoints like survival, growth and/or reproduction of the test organisms, and on biochemical endpoints, like enzymes related to oxidative stress response.

In addition, attempts are made to determine the presence of microplastics in the animals by microscopy. Finally, the effect of microplastics on the uptake of selected organic micro-pollutants from soil and from the particles will be determined.

Last updated 11.04.2019