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Polystyrene spherules in coastal waters
Carpenter, E.J.; Anderson, S.J.; Harvey, G.R.; Miklas, H.P.; Peck, B.B. (1972). Polystyrene spherules in coastal waters. Science (Wash.) 178(62): 749-750
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Carpenter, E.J.
  • Anderson, S.J.
  • Harvey, G.R.
  • Miklas, H.P.
  • Peck, B.B.

    Polystyrene spherules averaging 0.5 millimeter in diameter (range 0.1, to 2 millimeters) are abundant in the coastal waters of southern New England. 2 types are present, a crystalline (clear) from and a white, opaque form with pigmentation resulting from a diene rubber. The spherules have bacteria on their surfaces and contain polychlorinated biphenyls, apparently absorbed from ambient seawater, in a concentration of 5 parts per million. White, opaque spherules are selectively consumed by 8 species of fish out of 14 species examined, and a chaetognath. Ingestion of the plastic may lead to intestinal blockage in smaller fish.

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