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Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Nov 17;49(22):13622-7. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03163. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

Microplastic Pollution in Table Salts from China.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University , Shanghai 200062, China.
2
Research Center for Analysis and Measurement, Donghua University , Shanghai 201620, China.

Abstract

Microplastics have been found in seas all over the world. We hypothesize that sea salts might contain microplastics, because they are directly supplied by seawater. To test our hypothesis, we collected 15 brands of sea salts, lake salts, and rock/well salts from supermarkets throughout China. The microplastics content was 550-681 particles/kg in sea salts, 43-364 particles/kg in lake salts, and 7-204 particles/kg in rock/well salts. In sea salts, fragments and fibers were the prevalent types of particles compared with pellets and sheets. Microplastics measuring less than 200 μm represented the majority of the particles, accounting for 55% of the total microplastics, and the most common microplastics were polyethylene terephthalate, followed by polyethylene and cellophane in sea salts. The abundance of microplastics in sea salts was significantly higher than that in lake salts and rock/well salts. This result indicates that sea products, such as sea salts, are contaminated by microplastics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on microplastic pollution in abiotic sea products.

PMID:
26486565
DOI:
10.1021/acs.est.5b03163
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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