Microplastics (MPs) are emerging pollutants, which are considered ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems. The effects of MPs on aquatic biota are still poorly understood, and consequently, there is a need to understand the impacts that MPs may pose to organisms. In the present study, Tubifex tubifex, a freshwater oligochaete commonly used as a bioindicator of the aquatic environment, was exposed to fluorescent polyethylene microspheres (up to 10 µm in size) to test whether the oxidative stress status was affected. The mortality rate of T. tubifex, as well as the activities of the oxidative stress status biomarker enzymes glutathione reductase and peroxidase, were assessed. In terms of oxidative stress, no significant differences between the exposure organisms and the corresponding controls were detected. Even though the data suggest that polyethylene MPs and the selected concentrations did not pose a critical risk to T. tubifex, the previously reported tolerance of T. tubifex to environmental pollution should be taken into account and thus MPs as aquatic pollutants could still represent a threat to more sensitive oligochetes.
- 1172 Ympäristötiede