an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

ASSESSMENT OF MICROPLASTICS IN THE ENVIRONMENT – FIBRES: THE DISREGARDED TWIN?

  • Benjamin Piribauer - Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Austria
  • Thomas Laminger - Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Austria
  • Wolfgang Ipsmiller - Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Austria
  • Daniel Koch - Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Austria
  • Andreas Bartl - Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Austria

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13873

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 15 Jul 2019
  • Revised: 21 Oct 2019
  • Accepted: 23 Oct 2019
  • Available online: 06 Dec 2019

Abstract

Dealing with the pollution of plastics into the environment is considered one of the major challenges of the current century. Especially microplastic pollutions are considered a significant threat to human life, especially since once these plastic particles make their way into the environment, removing them is almost impossible. Unfortunately, when researches look for microplastics in the environment, synthetic fibres are too often disregarded. This is a mistake considering that a big part of human clothing consists purely of synthetic fibres, meaning they are omnipresent in every part of human activity and so are their emissions. This work takes a critical look at the state of the art analysis methods for microplastics in soil, water and air, with a special focus on their ability (or inability) to detect fibrous materials. A case study in the form of a critical evaluation was made to highlight common problems when detecting microplastic fibres, it focused primarily on the sampling of large water volumes. Another case study explores the difficulties of microscopy in the analysis of microplastics. Furthermore, the sources of fibre pollution and which pathways they take in the environment before the end up in the maritime system are explored. Finally, this work makes a call for the creation and enforcement of standardized methods, which would potentially solve many of the current problems.

Keywords


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