Microplastics' Composition and Role as Vectors for Persistent Organic Pollutants




Nguyen, Han
Rhoades, Benjamin
Wigode, Evan
Hutchinson, Thomas
Foster, Gregory D.
Sklarew, Daniel M.

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Plastic is everywhere and once in a water body, some break down into pieces less than 5mm known as microplastics (MPs). MPs come from various sources, and it is hard to know where they originate. Previously published studies have relied on Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) to identify the types of MPs. In this study, FTIR imaging system was used to determine the composition of MPs in the samples collected in the tidal freshwater Potomac River. Recent studies have also raised concern over the ability of plastic particles to accumulate persistent organic pollutants (POPs), organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation. Therefore, this study also aimed to investigate the presence and distribution of POPs absorbed to the post-consumer microplastics deployed into the Occoquan River.



Freshwater Ecology, Microplastics