Qualitative analysis of additives in plastic marine debris and its new products

ue to their formulation and/or processing, plastics contain additives and impurities that may leach out under conditions of use and accumulate in the environment. To evaluate their role as vectors of chemical contaminants in marine environment, plastic debris (n = 19) collected from coastal beaches along with new plastics (n = 25; same or same brand) bought from local markets were screened by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry in full scan mode. Detected peaks were identified using NIST library in different polymers (polypropylene (PP) > polyethylene (PE) > PP + PE > polyethyl terephthalate > poly(acylene:styrene) with different use (food, fishery, and general use). A database on the presence of 231 different chemicals were grouped into hydrocarbons, ultra-violet (UV)-stabilizers, antioxidants, plasticizers, lubricants, intermediates, compounds for dyes and inks, flame retardants, etc. The UV326, UV327, UV328, UV320, UvinualMC80, irganox 1076, DEHP, antioxidant no 33, di-n-octylisophthalate, diisooctyl phthalate, hexanoic acid 2-ethyl-hexadecyl ester, and hydrocarbons were most frequently detected. Finding of toxic phthalates and UV stabilizers in those products having moisture contact (like bottles with short use) raised concern to humans and indicated their irregular use. The comparison between new and debris plastics clearly indicated the leaching and absorption of chemicals and supports our assumption of plastic as media for transferring these additives in marine environment.


Manviri Rani, Won Joon Shim, Gi Myung Han, Mi Jang, Najat Ahmed Al-Odaini, Young Kyong Song, Sang Hee Hong, Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 69 (3):352-366, October 2015

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