Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Pollut. 2017 Jun;225:283-290. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.12.064. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

Microplastics in sediments of the Changjiang Estuary, China.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, 200062 Shanghai, China.
2
Instrumental Analysis Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 200240 Shanghai, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, 200062 Shanghai, China. Electronic address: daojili@sklec.ecnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Microplastics are plastics that measure less than 5 mm in diameter. They enter the marine environment as primary sources directly from industrial uses, as well as secondary sources resulting from the degradation of large plastic debris. To improve the knowledge of microplastic pollution in China, we investigated samples from 53 estuarine sediment locations collected with a box corer within the Changjiang Estuary. Microplastics (<5 mm) were extracted from sediments by density separation, after which they were observed under a microscope and categorized according to shape, color and size. Identification was carried out using Micro-Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (μ-FT-IR). The abundance of microplastics in the Changjiang Estuary was mapped. The mean concentration was 121 ± 9 items per kg of dry weight, varying from 20 to 340 items per kg of dry weight. It was found that the concentration of microplastics was the highest on the southeast coast of Shanghai. The distribution pattern of microplastics may be affected by the Changjiang diluted water in summer. All of the microplastics collected were categorized according to shape, color and size. Among which fiber (93%), transparent (42%) and small microplastics (<1 mm) (58%) were the most abundant types. No clear correlation between microplastics and the finer sediment fraction was found. Rayon, polyester, and acrylic were the most abundant types of microplastics identified, indicating that the main source of microplastics in the Changjiang Estuary was from washing clothes (the primary source). It is possible to compare microplastic abundance in this study with the results of other related studies using the same quantification method. The identification of microplastics raises the awareness of microplastic pollution from drainage systems. The prevalence of microplastic pollution calls for monitoring microplastics at a national scale on a regular basis.

KEYWORDS:

Changjiang estuary; Marine pollution; Microplastic; Sediment; μ-FT-IR

PMID:
28408187
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2016.12.064
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center