Monitoring of microplastic pollution in the Arctic: Recent developments in polymer identification, quality assurance and control (QA/QC), and data reporting

Type Article
Date 2023-03
Language English
Author(s) Primpke Sebastian1, Booth Andy M.2, Gerdts Gunnar1, Gomiero Alessio3, Kögel Tanja4, 5, Lusher Amy L.6, 7, Strand Jakob8, Scholz-Böttcher Barbara M.9, Galgani FrancoisORCID10, Provencher Jennifer F.11, Aliani Stefano12, Patankar Shreyas13, Vorkamp Katrin14
Affiliation(s) 1 : Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 84597, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Helgoland, Germany
2 : SINTEF Ocean, 555971, SINTEF Sealab, Brattørkaia 17 C, Trondheim, Norway
3 : NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS Stavanger, 87426, Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
4 : University of Bergen, 1658, Department of Biological Science, Bergen, Norway
5 : Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Bergen, Norway
6 : Norwegian Institute for Water Research, 6273, Oslo, Norway
7 : University of Bergen, 1658, Bergen, Norway
8 : Aarhus University, 1006, Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus, Denmark
9 : University of Oldenburg, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), , Oldenburg, Germany
10 : Ifremer, 52842, Chair of the EU Technical Group Marine Litter, Plouzane, Bretagne, France
11 : Environment and Climate Change Canada, 6347, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 : Institute Marine Science National - Research Council of Italy, Pozzuolo di Lerici 19036, Italy
13 : Ocean Wise Conservation Association, Vancouver, Canada
14 : Aarhus University, 1006, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus, Denmark
Source Arctic Science (2368-7460) (Canadian Science Publishing), 2023-03 , Vol. 9 , N. 1 , P. 176-197
DOI 10.1139/AS-2022-0006
WOS© Times Cited 12
Keyword(s) monitoring, microplastic, Arctic, QA, QC, reporting, FTIR, Raman, microscopy, py-GC, MS, TED-GC

The pollution of the environment with plastics is of growing concern worldwide, including the Arctic region. While larger plastic pieces are a visible pollution issue, smaller microplastics are not visible with the naked eye. These particles are available for interaction by Arctic biota and have become a concern for animal and human health. The determination of microplastic properties includes several methodological steps, i.e. sampling, extraction, quantification and chemical identification. This review discusses suitable analytical tools for the identification, quantification and characterization of microplastics in the context of monitoring in the Arctic. It further addresses quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) which is particularly important for the determination of microplastic in the Arctic, as both contamination and analyte losses can occur. It presents specific QA/QC measures for sampling procedures and for the handling of samples in the laboratory, either on land or on ship, and considering the small size of microplastics as well as the high risk of contamination. The review depicts which data should be mandatory to report, thereby supporting a framework for harmonized data reporting.

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Primpke Sebastian, Booth Andy M., Gerdts Gunnar, Gomiero Alessio, Kögel Tanja, Lusher Amy L., Strand Jakob, Scholz-Böttcher Barbara M., Galgani Francois, Provencher Jennifer F., Aliani Stefano, Patankar Shreyas, Vorkamp Katrin (2023). Monitoring of microplastic pollution in the Arctic: Recent developments in polymer identification, quality assurance and control (QA/QC), and data reporting. Arctic Science, 9(1), 176-197. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :