IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption
Van Cauwenberghe, L.; Janssen, C. (2014). Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption. Environ. Pollut. 193: 65-70.
In: Environmental Pollution. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0269-7491, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Ingestion; Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793) [WoRMS]; Mytilus edulis galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Microplastics; Human food chain

Authors  Top 
  • Van Cauwenberghe, L., more
  • Janssen, C., more

    Microplastics are present throughout the marine environment and ingestion of these plastic particles (<1 mm) has been demonstrated in a laboratory setting for a wide array of marine organisms. Here, we investigate the presence of microplastics in two species of commercially grown bivalves: Mytilus edulis and Crassostrea gigas. Microplastics were recovered from the soft tissues of both species. At time of human consumption, M. edulis contains on average 0.36 ± 0.07 particles g-1 (wet weight), while a plastic load of 0.47 ± 0.16 particles g-1 ww was detected in C. gigas. As a result, the annual dietary exposure for European shellfish consumers can amount to 11,000 microplastics per year. The presence of marine microplastics in seafood could pose a threat to food safety, however, due to the complexity of estimating microplastic toxicity, estimations of the potential risks for human health posed by microplastics in food stuffs is not (yet) possible.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors