In recent years, microplastics (MPs) are emerging contaminants ubiquitously present in all the compartments of the aquatic ecosystem from surface water to benthic sediment, including aquatic biota. In the aquatic system, MPs pose serious hazards to marine organisms, causing damage by contact, ingestion and uptake. Evidence of MPs ingestion is well documented in marine organisms and harmful consequences of MPs to biota may also derive from the possible transfer of chemicals associated to the plastic debris, especially persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). To date, many studies are focusing on the interaction between MPs and POPs, concerning sorption processes and competitive behaviour of chemicals onto MPs, however most of them are experimental studies and very few field studies have been carried out on wild organisms. In the present field study, the most commonly found plastic polymers (polyvinyl chloride [PVC], polypropylene [PP], polyethylene [PE], polyester [PET] and polyamide [PA]) and PAH congeners (phenanthrene [Phe], fluoranthene [Flu] and pyrene [Py]) were analysed in wild sole (Solea solea) caught in the Adriatic Sea. MPs were evaluated in the gastrointestinal tract of the fish, while PAHs were evaluated in sediments and several fish tissues (gills, liver and fillet).
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