Joint toxicity of microplastics with triclosan to marine microalgae Skeletonema costatum.Environ Pollut. 2019 Mar; 246:509-517.EP
Toxicity of single microplastics on organisms has been reported widely, however, their joint toxicity with other contaminants on phytoplankton is rarely investigated. Here, we studied the toxicity of triclosan (TCS) with four kinds of microplastics namely polyethylene (PE, 74 μm), polystyrene (PS, 74 μm), polyvinyl chloride (PVC, 74 μm), and PVC800 (1 μm) on microalgae Skeletonema costatum. Both growth inhibition and oxidative stress including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined. We found that TCS had obvious inhibition effect on microalgae growth within the test concentrations, and single microplastics also had significant inhibition effect which followed the order of PVC800 > PVC > PS > PE. However, the joint toxicity of PVC and PVC800 in combination with TCS decreased more than that of PE and PS. The higher adsorption capacity of TCS on PVC and PVC800 was one possible reason for the greater reduction of their toxicity. The joint toxicity of PVC800 was still most significant (PE < PVC < PS < PVC800) because of the minimum particle size. According to the independent action model, the joint toxicity systems were all antagonism. Moreover, the reduction of SOD was higher than MDA which revealed that the physical damage was more serious than intracellular damage. SEM images revealed that the aggregation of microplastics and physical damage on algae was obvious. Collectively, the present research provides evidences that the existence of organic pollutants is capable of influencing the effects of microplastics, and the further research on the joint toxicity of microplastics with different pollutants is urgent.