Altered Behavior, Physiology, and Metabolism in Fish Exposed to Polystyrene Nanoparticles

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The use of nanoparticles in consumer products, for example, cosmetics, sunscreens, and electrical devices, has increased tremendously over the past decade despite insufficient knowledge about their effects on human health and ecosystem function. Moreover, the amount of plastic waste products that enter natural ecosystems, such as oceans and lakes, is increasing, and degradation of the disposed plastics produces smaller particles toward the nano scale. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to gain knowledge about how plastic nanoparticles enter and affect living organisms. Here we have administered 24 and 27 nm polystyrene nanoparticles to fish through an aquatic food chain, from algae through Daphnia, and studied the effects on behavior and metabolism. We found severe effects on feeding and shoaling behavior as well as metabolism of the fish; hence, we conclude that polystyrene nanoparticles have severe effects on both behavior and metabolism in fish and that commonly used nanosized particles may have considerable effects on natural systems and ecosystem services derived from them.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Mechanical Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-561
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch