Phthalate release from plastic fragments and degradation in seawater

Type Article
Date 2019-01
Language English
Author(s) Paluselli Andrea1, Fauvelle Vincent1, Galgani FrancoisORCID2, Sempere Richard1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Aix Marseille Univ, F-13288 Marseille, France.
2 : IFREMER, Lab Environm Ressources, Provence Azur Corse, Ctr Mediterranee,ZP Bregaillon, F-83500 La Seyne Sur Mer, France.
Source Environmental Science & Technology (0013-936X) (Amer Chemical Soc), 2019-01 , Vol. 53 , N. 1 , P. 166-175
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b05083
WOS© Times Cited 229

Plastic debris in the environment contain plasticizers, such as phthalates (PAEs), that can be released during plastic aging. Here, two common plastic materials, i.e., an insulation layer of electric cables (polyvinylchloride, PVC-cables) and plastic garbage bag (polyethylene, PE-bags), were incubated in natural seawater under laboratory conditions, and the PAE migration to the seawater phase was studied with varying light and bacterial conditions over a 90-day time course. Free PAEs diluted in seawater were also studied for bacterial degradation. Our results showed that, within the first month of incubation, both plastic materials significantly leached out PAEs in surrounding water. We found that di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) were the main PAEs released from the PE-bags, with the highest values of 83.4 ± 12.5 and 120.1 ± 18.0 ng g-1 of plastic, respectively. Furthermore, dimethyl phthalate (DMP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) were the main PAEs released from PVC-cables, with mass fractions as high as 9.5 ± 1.4 and 68.9 ± 10.3 ng g-1, respectively. Additionally, we found that light and bacterial exposure increased the total amount of PAEs released from PVC-cables by a factor of up to 5, whereas they had no influence in the case of PE-bags.

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