Leaching of flame-retardants from polystyrene debris: Bioaccumulation and potential effects on coral

Type Article
Date 2020-02
Language English
Author(s) Aminot YannORCID1, 2, Lanctôt Chantal1, 3, Bednarz Vanessa4, Robson William J.5, Taylor Angus1, Ferrier-Pagès Christine4, Metian Marc1, Tolosa Imma1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Environment Laboratories, International Atomic Energy Agency, 4a Quai Antoine 1er, 98000, Monaco
2 : IFREMER, Laboratory of Biogeochemistry of Organic Contaminants, Rue de l'Ile d'Yeu, BP 21105, 44311 Nantes Cedex 3, France
3 : Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Southport, QLD 4215, Australia
4 : CSM – Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Equipe Ecophysiologie corallienne, 8 Quai Antoine 1er, 98000, Monaco
5 : Biogeochemistry Research Centre, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom
Source Marine Pollution Bulletin (0025-326X) (Elsevier BV), 2020-02 , Vol. 151 , P. 110862 (7p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110862
WOS© Times Cited 41
Keyword(s) Marine plastic, Polystyrene foam, Leachates, Hexabromocyclododecanes, Corals, Bioconcentration

Marine plastic debris can act as a reservoir of chemical additives that can pose a potential threat to sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs. A survey of foam macrodebris collected on beaches indeed revealed high concentrations of hexabromocyclododecanes (ΣHBCDD) in polystyrene (PS) samples (up to 1940 μg g−1). Results also showed that PS fragments can still leach over 150 ng g−1 d−1 of ΣHBCDD (primarily as the α-isomer) for relatively long durations, and that these additives are readily bioaccumulated and well-retained by corals. Despite significant HBCDD bioaccumulation in coral tissue, short-term exposure to HBCDD or PS leachate had no considerable effect on coral photosynthetic activity, symbiont concentration and chlorophyll content. Exposure to the PS leachate did however cause consistent polyp retraction in nubbins over the 5-day exposure. This response was not observed in animals exposed to HBCDD alone, suggesting that another constituent of the leachate stressed corals.

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