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Highlights from a review of microplastics in marine sediments

Abstract : The ubiquity of microplastics (MPs) has now been demonstrated throughout Earth’s geographic areas in both terrestrial and marine environments. Marine ecosystems are the end point of the plastic waste cycle, and marine sediments are increasingly considered to be a sink for plastic debris, with possible deleterious effects on seafloor ecosystems. However, the low concentration of MPs in a complex matrix such as marine sediment makes their reliable analysis difficult. MP concentration in marine sediments is usually determined by various extraction procedures followed by optical, spectroscopy or mass spectrometry techniques, and are therefore hard to compare. Therefore, reliable determination of MPs in sediment is a challenging task. Here we present a short review on studies dealing with analytical determination protocols and MP detection in marine sediments and discuss the advantages of the different techniques used. This analysis of the literature reveals that most of the 70 studies were carried out in European and Asian coastal environments. The use of NaCl saturated solution, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) are by far the most-used techniques for the different steps of separation, digestion and identification, respectively. Based on this body of literature, we present recommendations and suggestions for future research in order to increase the reliability of results and to facilitate inter-comparison. The use of NaCl saturated and H2O2 solution is strongly recommended for the separation and digestion steps, respectively, whereas during the filtration step it is necessary to choose filter type based on the identification technique. More thorough investigation is needed to establish a systematic protocol for MP identification. A combination of techniques would permit to identify all items, and personal bias could be avoided if automatic identification was implemented. Nanoplastics (NP) occurrence in marine sediments is also discussed, although no data are available to date.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 12, 2021 - 10:55:03 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 3:28:25 AM

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Nam Ngoc Phuong, Vincent Fauvelle, Christian Grenz, Melanie Ourgaud, Natascha Schmidt, et al.. Highlights from a review of microplastics in marine sediments. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, inPress, 777, pp.146225. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146225⟩. ⟨hal-03164736⟩

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