Persistent organic pollutants carried on plastic resin pellets from two beaches in China

Microplastics provide a mechanism for the long-range transport of hydrophobic chemical contaminants to remote coastal and marine locations. In this study, plastic resin pellets were collected from Zhengmingsi Beach and Dongshan Beach in China. The collected pellets were analyzed for PAHs, PCBs, HCHs, DDTs, chlordane, heptachlor, endosulfan, aldrin, dieldrin and endrin. The total concentration of PCBs ranged from 34.7–213.7 ng g−1 and from 21.5–323.2 ng g−1 in plastic resin pellets for Zhengmingsi Beach and Dongshan Beach respectively. The highest concentrations of PCBs were observed for congeners 44, 110, 138, 155 and 200. The total concentration of PAHs ranged from 136.3–1586.9 ng g−1 and from 397.6–2384.2 ng g−1 in the plastic pellets, whereas DDTs concentration ranged from 1.2–101.5 ng g−1 and from 1.5–127.0 ng g−1 for the two beaches. The elevated concentrations of pollutants appear to be related to extensive industrial development, agricultural activity and the use of coal in the area.

Weiwei Zhang, Xindong Ma, Zhifeng Zhang and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 99, Issues 1–2, Pages 28–34, 15 October 2015

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