• Project No 4109
  • Project Name Investigating bioaccumulation of chemical pollutants adsorbed to Microplastics in the terrestrial environment
  • Lead Organisation Water Research Australia
  • Research Lead RMIT University
  • Main Researcher Damien Moodie
  • Completion Year 2016

National Research Priority: Liveability

Project Description

Microbeads derived from personal care products that are introduced to waste water treatment streams and contaminated by persistent organic pollutants are an increasing area of concern for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Two experiments that exposed earthworms to the persistent organic pollutant PBDE were conducted using contaminated microbeads at 100 ng/g and an OECD recommended soil in laboratory conditions for 16 and 21 days to determine if the PBDEs adsorbed to the microbeads were bioavailable to the earthworms. Uptake of most PBDE congeners was found to be statistically significant when compared to the experimental controls in both experiments with the congener uptake resembling trends seen in previous earthworm studies that examined PBDE contamination of biosolid amended agricultural fields.

Honours Thesis completed by Damien Moodie in June 2016.