Current research trends on micro- and nano-plastics as an emerging threat to global environment: A review

Manish Kumar, Hongyu Chen, Surendra Sarsaiya, Shiyi Qin, Huimin Liu, Mukesh Kumar Awasthi, Sunil Kumar, Lal Singh, Zengqiang Zhang, Nanthi S. Bolan, Ashok Pandey, Sunita Varjani, Mohammad J. Taherzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)


Micro-and nano-plastics (MNPs) (size < 5 mm/<100 nm) epitomize one of the emergent environmental pollutants with its existence all around the globe. Their high persistence nature and release of chemicals/additives used in synthesis of plastics materials may pose cascading impacts on living organism across the globe. Natural connectivity of all the environmental compartments (terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric) leads to migration/dispersion of MNPs from one compartment to others. Nevertheless, the information on dispersion of MNPs across the environmental compartments and its possible impacts on living organisms are still missing. This review first acquaints with dispersion mechanisms of MNPs in the environment, its polymeric/oligomeric and chemical constituents and then emphasized its impacts on living organism. Based on the existing knowledge about the MNPs’ constituent and its potential impacts on the viability, development, lifecycle, movements, and fertility of living organism via several potential mechanisms, such as irritation, oxidative damage, digestion impairment, tissue deposition, change in gut microbial communities’ dynamics, impaired fatty acid metabolism, and molecular damage are emphasized. Finally, at the end, the review provided the challenges associated with remediation of plastics pollutions and desirable strategies, policies required along with substantial gaps in MNPs research were recommended for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124967
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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