Competitive sorption of persistent organic pollutants onto microplastics in the marine environment

Plastics are known to sorb persistent organic pollutants from seawater. However, studies to quantify sorption rates have only considered the affinity of chemicals in isolation, unlike the conditions in the environment where contaminants are present as complex mixtures. Here we examine whether phenanthrene and 4,4′-DDT, in a mixture, compete for sorption sites onto PVC with no added additives (unplasticised PVC or uPVC) and Ultra-High Molecular Weight polyethylene. Interactions were investigated by exposing particles of uPVC and UHMW PE to mixtures of 3H and 14C radiolabelled Phe and DDT. Changes in sorption capacity were modelled by applying a Freundlich binding sorption isotherms. (…)

Adil Bakir and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 64 (12), P. 2782–2789, Dec. 2012

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