In an article published on May 16, 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal Chemosphere, Ludovic Hermabessiere and colleagues from ANSES, Laboratoire de Sécurité des Aliments, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, reviewed the occurrence of plastic additives in marine environments, and the effects of these substances on marine organisms.

Plastics are known to accumulate and fragment in oceans, therefore “plastic additives could represent an increasing ecotoxicological risk for marine organisms,” according to the authors. The most common plastic additives found in marine waters and sediments include polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), phthalates, nonylphenols (NP)s), bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), and antioxidants.

The authors further reviewed the evidence demonstrating the transfer of plastic additives to marine organisms, and argued that “upcoming research focusing on the toxicity of microplastics should include these plastic additives as potential hazards for marine organisms, and a greater focus on the transport and fate of plastic additives is now required considering that these chemicals may easily leach out from plastics.”


Hermabessiere, L., et al. (2017). ”Occurrence and effects of plastic additives on marine environments and organisms : A review.Chemosphere 182:781-793.