TOMSK, Dec 7 – RIA Tomsk. Employees of the Biological Institute of Tomsk State University (BI TSU) for the first time in Russia checked daces living in Tom within the limits of the regional center for microplastic contamination; the amount of microplastics in Tomsk fish was higher than in other rivers of the world, the university's press service said on Monday.
Earlier it was reported that the scientists of BI TSU are examining the waters and bottom sediments of the Ob for their contamination with microplastic particles. It is assumed that this river may be one of the main sources of microplastic pollution of the Arctic seas. In the summer of 2020, scientists discovered a high content of microplastics and various microparticles of synthetic origin in the Tom (tributary of the Ob) in the Tomsk region.
"For the first time in Russia, biologists of TSU examined freshwater fish for microplastic contamination. Within the framework of the project supported by the Tomsk State University Academic D.I. Mendeleev Fund Programme, an analysis of daces caught in Tom within the city was carried out. The concentration of microplastics in the fish food tract was higher, than in other rivers of the world, including the Amazon River", - is said in the message.
© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
According to the press service, scientists have found hundreds of microparticles of synthetic materials in the fish food tract, ranging in size from 0,15 millimeters and less. At the same time, the researchers did not find the degree of contamination with microplastics from the age and sex of the individuals. In the near future, scientists will publish the results of this work in the journal "Bulletin of Tomsk University. Biology".
"We plan to examine the dorsal muscles of fish for microplastic contamination. Muscle is the part of fish that we eat, so detecting microplastics in them will help to assess the extent of contaminant transmission along the food chain", - the head of the project Julia Frank is quoted.
TSU scientists also intend to analyze the degree of pollution of other fish species from different parts of the Tom and Ob rivers and check the presence of microplastics in other organs.
Microplastic is any type of plastic particles and other synthetic materials with a size of 5 millimeters or less. In nature, the most common "secondary" microplastic - the product of decomposition of plastic bottles, plastic packaging, and so on. The potential harm of microplastics is due to the release of toxic substances and their action as vectors for the spread of other hazardous pollutants. The decomposition period of plastic is several hundred years.