Chemical composition of microplastics floating on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea

Type Article
Date 2022-01
Language English
Author(s) Kedzierski Mikaël1, Palazot Maialen1, Soccalingame Lata1, Falcou-Préfol Mathilde2, Gorsky Gabriel3, 5, Galgani FrancoisORCID4, Bruzaud Stéphane1, Pedrotti Maria Luiza5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université Bretagne Sud, UMR CNRS 6027, IRDL, F-56100 Lorient, France
2 : University of Antwerp, Systemic Physiological and Ecotoxicological Research (SPHERE), 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
3 : Sorbonne Universités, UMR CNRS 7093, LOV, F-06230 Villefranche sur mer, France
4 : IFREMER, LER/PAC, F-20600 Bastia, France
5 : Research Federation for the study of Global Ocean Systems Ecology and Evolution, FR2022/Tara Oceans-GOSEE, Paris, France
Source Marine Pollution Bulletin (0025-326X) (Elsevier BV), 2022-01 , Vol. 174 , P. 113284 (12p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113284
WOS© Times Cited 17
Keyword(s) Microplastics, Mediterranean Sea, FTIR, Chemical composition, Poly(ethylene)

The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most studied regions in the world in terms of microplastic (MP) contamination. However, only a few studies have analysed the chemical composition of MPs at the Mediterranean Sea surface. In this context, this study aims to describe the chemical composition as a function of particle size, mass and number concentrations of MPs collected in the surface waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The chemical composition showed a certain homogeneity at the Mediterranean Sea scale. The main polymers identified by Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopy were poly(ethylene) (67.3 ± 2.4%), poly(propylene) (20.8 ± 2.1%) and poly(styrene) (3.0 ± 0.9%). Nevertheless, discrepancies, confirmed by the literature, were observed at a mesoscale level. Thus, in the North Tyrrhenian Sea, the proportion of poly(ethylene) was significantly lower than the average value of the Mediterranean Sea (57.9 ± 10.5%). Anthropic sources, rivers, or polymer ageing are assumed to be responsible for the variations observed.

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Kedzierski Mikaël, Palazot Maialen, Soccalingame Lata, Falcou-Préfol Mathilde, Gorsky Gabriel, Galgani Francois, Bruzaud Stéphane, Pedrotti Maria Luiza (2022). Chemical composition of microplastics floating on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 174, 113284 (12p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :