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The way of microplastic through the environment: Application of the source-pathway-receptor model (review)

Waldschläger, Lechthaler, Stauch & Schüttrumpf
January, 2020

Microplastics in the environment is a highly relevant research topic. However, although more and more studies on environmental concentrations of microplastics are published, a profound risk assessment could not be carried out yet. This is mainly attributable to the fact that the current sampling and analysis methods do not provide a representative picture of the environmental pollution, as the fundamental knowledge about transport processes of microplastic is not present, and the ecotoxicological studies therefore cannot consider the relevant exposures of the organisms. To provide a methodological basis for further research and risk assessments, this paper applies the Source-Pathway-Receptor model to the context of microplastics, whereby the current state of knowledge can be compiled in a structured way and important knowledge gaps can be identified.

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