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Mar Pollut Bull. 2010 Nov;60(11):1988-92. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.07.030. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

Organic pollutants in microplastics from two beaches of the Portuguese coast.

Author information

1
IMAR-Instituto do Mar, Departamento de Ciências e Engenharia do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Monte de Caparica, Portugal. jpfrias@fct.unl.pt

Abstract

Microplastics pose a threat to coastal environments due to their capacity to adsorb persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These particles (less than 5 mm in size) are potentially dangerous to marine species due to magnification risk over the food chain. Samples were collected from two Portuguese beaches and sorted in four classes to relate the adsorption capacity of pollutants with color and age. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and DDTs were analysed on pellets through gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and types of plastic were identified using Fourier transformed infra-red spectroscopy (micro-FTIR). Microplastics were mostly polyethylene and polypropylene. Regarding sizes, some fibres ranged from 1 to 5 μm in diameter and were 500 μm in length. The majority of samples collected had sizes above 200 μm. Black pellets, unlike aged pellets, had the highest concentrations of POPs except for PAHs in Fonte da Telha beach. PAHs with higher concentrations were pyrene, phenantrene, chrysene and fluoranthene. Higher concentrations of PCBs were found for congeners 18, 31, 138 and 187. Further investigation is necessary to understand the relationship between plastic degradation and adsorption for different pollutants.

PMID:
20800853
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.07.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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