A CSIC study detects plasticizers in sardines, anchovies and hakes from the Mediterranean Sea

5 November 2021

A recent study by the CSIC has detected plasticizing chemical compounds in sardines, anchovies, and hake from the Mediterranean Sea, although the levels do not pose a risk to human health. Plasticizer contamination could be one of the causes of the decline of the populations of these species, together with climate change and fishing pressure. The work, led by the Institute for Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA CSIC) in collaboration with the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC) has been published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

The plasticizers studied are the organophosphate esters, a family of chemical compounds widely used in industry (plastics, textiles, furniture, etc.). Some of these compounds may have toxic effects on the nervous, endocrine or reproductive system, or even have carcinogenic effects.  The risk assessment of these contaminants on human health indicates that the consumption of these fish, by itself, does not involve any health risk. “However, the human exposure to these pollutants occurs through different routes such as food (and not just fish), breathing in indoor and outdoor spaces, or intake of dust, among others”, explains the lead author and IDAEA researcher Ethel Eljarrat.

Berta Sala, Joan Giménez, Julio Fernández-Arribas, Carlota Bravo, Elena Lloret-Lloret, Antonio Esteban, José María Bellido, Marta Coll, Ethel Eljarrat. 2021. Organophosphate ester plasticizers in edible fish from the Mediterranean Sea: Marine pollution and human exposure. Environmental Pollution, 292 (118377). DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118377

Nota de prensa (ESP)
Nota de premsa (CAT)

IDAEA-CSIC Communication

Close Menu