Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Food Animal Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408713

Research Project: Detection and Fate of Environmental Chemical and Biological Residues and their Impact on the Food Supply

Location: Food Animal Metabolism Research

Title: Absorption, distribution, and elimination of [14C]-polystyrene microplastic after oral administration in laying hens

item Shelver, Weilin
item McGarvey, Amy
item Billey, Lloyd
item BANERJEE, AMRITA - Fount Bio

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Micro/nanoplastics (MP) are environmental contaminants of global concern due to their ubiquitous distribution in air, soil, water, and food. Reports of MP absorption, distribution, and elimination in terrestrial animals used for human consumption are scant. In this study, [14C]-polystyrene (PS) MP was utilized to quantitatively determine the extent of MP absorption, distribution into tissues, elimination through excreta, and translocation into eggs of laying hens after oral administration. [14C]-polystyrene MP was dosed in laying hens at 10 µCi/hen (11.1 ± 0.8 mg/kg, n = 15) and the extent of radioactivity in blood and tissues was determined in birds harvested on withdrawal days (WD) 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 (3 hens per WD). Radiocarbon was also determined in egg fractions and excreta collected throughout the study. Blood and tissues contained < 0.5 % of the administered dose, demonstrating that polystyrene microparticles were poorly absorbed. Only small quantities of polystyrene were translocated to eggs (< 0.3%). Recovery of radioactivity in excreta within the first withdrawal day was nearly quantitative (96.8 ± 14.5%, n = 15). The results suggest that exposure of poultry to dietary PS-MP would not likely represent subsequent food safety risks and that most PS-MP present in poultry diets would return to the environment.