Glitter, commonly used in cosmetics and ornamentals, is classified as a microplastic, and is therefore a petroleum-derived residue manufactured in small dimensions. It has different metals in its composition, such as aluminum and copper, and interacts extensively with the freshwater ecosystem biota due to its different individual properties. Like the most of plastic waste, glitter can reach aquatic compartments through wastewater treatment station, unable to retain these compounds due to their small size. In addition to pollution by microplastics, the aquatic ecosystem is also subjected to wastewater from textile industries, which are made up, among other substances, synthetic dyes, which may also have some metallic components in their composition. These colored wastewater prevent solar radiation from penetrating the aquatic compartment by reducing water transparency, interfering with photosynthetic activity. As a result, it can compromise the development of organisms such as aquatic macrophytes, which are extremely valuable in the aquatic ecosystem as they perform various functions as the basis of the food chain and ensure the constant flow of nutrients, and should therefore be preserved. Considering such aspects, the present study will evaluate the effects of the glitter microplastic and the textile dye on the photosynthesis rates of the aquatic macrophyte Egeria densa, aiming to obtain data about the subject, which is not so much studied nowadays.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: