A Living Tool for the Continued Exploration of Microplastic Toxicity

L.M. Thornton Hampton*, H. Lowman, S. Coffin, E. Darin, H. de Frond, L. Hermabessiere, E. Miller, V.N. de Ruijter, A. Faltynkova, A. Kotar, L.M. Anglada, S. Siddiqui, J. Volker, S. Brander, A.A. Koelmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Throughout the past decade, many studies have reported adverse effects in biota following microplastic exposure. Yet, the field is still emerging as the current understanding of microplastic toxicity is limited. At the same time, recent legislative mandates have required environmental regulators to devise strategies to mitigate microplastic pollution and develop health-based thresholds for the protection of human and ecosystem health. The current publication rate also presents a unique challenge as scientists, environmental managers, and other communities may find it difficult to keep up with microplastic research as it rapidly evolves. At present, there is no tool that compiles and synthesizes the data from these studies to allow for visualization, interpretation, or analysis. Here, we present the Toxicity of Microplastics Explorer (ToMEx), an open access database and open source accompanying R Shiny web application that enables users to upload, search, visualize, and analyze microplastic toxicity data. Though ToMEx was originally created to facilitate the development of health-based thresholds to support California legislations, maintaining the database by the greater scientific community will be invaluable to furthering research and informing policies globally. The database and web applications may be accessed at https://microplastics.sccwrp.org/.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalMicroplastics and Nanoplastics
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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