Polystyrene Spherules in Coastal Waters
|Title||Polystyrene Spherules in Coastal Waters|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1972|
|Authors||Carpenter, EJ, Anderson, SJ, Harvey, GR, Miklas, HP, Peck, BB|
Polystyrene spherules averaging 0.5 millimeter in diameter (range 0.1 to 2 millimeters) are abundant in the coastal waters of southern New England. Two types are present, a crystalline (clear) form and a white, opaque form with pigmentation resulting from a diene rubber. The spherules have bacteria on their surfaces and contain polychlorinated biphenyls, apparently absorbed from ambient seawater, in a concentration of 5 parts per million. White, opaque spherules are selectively consumed by 8 species of fish out of 14 species examined, and a chaetognath. Ingestion of the plastic may lead to intestinal blockage in smaller fish.