Approved Abstracts

Effect of microplastics on the oxidative stress of earthworm (Eisenia fetida)



Author(s): Alves M; Carrola J; Ricardo J; Ribeiro O; Peixoto F;
Presenter: Francisco Peixoto

The presence of plastics in soils represents a threat to the quality of ecosystems, with consequences for biodiversity, food security and human health. This problem is global and results from the massive production of plastics and reduced recycling and biodegradability. The effect of plastics on the soil is further amplified due to the mechanical degradation and photodegradation processes they are subject to, exacerbating the associated environmental consequences due to microplastics (MP) formation.
This work evaluates the effect of different concentrations of MP (0%, 0.001%, 0.01% and 0.2%) on Eisenia fetida, with the respective endpoints of growth and indicators of oxidative stress (SOD, CAT and GST). For this purpose, a 28-day sub-lethality ecotoxicological test was carried out under controlled temperature, humidity, and light conditions according to OECD standards. The data were subjected to an analysis of variance and respective comparison of means to assess the effect of the concentration of microplastics on the biological indicators studied.
No mortality was observed in the different types of MP treatments. Considering the effect of MP on Eisenia fetida growth, it is observed that there is a decrease in growth in groups 2 (0.001% MP) and 3 (0.01% MP) compared to the control group, of about 20 and 37%, respectively. On the contrary, in group 4 (0.2% MP), there is an increase of about 28%, compared to the control group. This alteration could mean some disturbance in the earthworm metabolism that will have led to liquid retention, but this result must be confirmed with the increase of the sample where the water content must be determined to confirm this hypothesis. The SOD activity did not show any dependence on MP concentration, while the increase in the CAT activity, although not significant, was shown to be dependent on the concentration of MP and the concentration of GST.
The data obtained show changes resulting from exposure to PM, although the dispersion of results and the small number of samples (n=4) do not allow for statistically significant differences. Nevertheless, biochemical results indicate that exposure to MP will induce changes in the redox state of the earthworm.


Keywords: Microplastics; Eisenia fetida; Antioxidant system

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