Depending on whether the plastic particles sink or float, a new study from the University of California found that microplastics are a pathway for pathogens on land to reach the ocean, with likely consequences for human and wildlife health.
The study, published April 26 in the journal Scientific Reports, is the first to connect microplastics in the ocean with land-based pathogens.
For the study, the authors conducted laboratory experiments to test whether the selected pathogens can associate with plastics in seawater. By using two different types of microplastics, often found in cosmetics, clothing and fishing nets, the scientists found that more parasites adhered to microfibers than to microbeads, though both types of plastic can carry land pathogens.
You can find more info about the study here.