Extraction, enumeration and identification methods for monitoring microplastics in the environment

There is much research on the occurrence, pollution characteristics and impacts of microplastics in the marine environment but this omits factors which play important roles in the analysis of microplastics. This review summarizes the methods and techniques in the extraction from sediment, seawater and organisms, and assesses their advantages and limitations according to different experimental conditions, such as salt solution and reagents added to remove organic matter. Similarly, this overview includes the enumeration methods of microplastics by many kinds of microscopes (e.g. stereomicroscope, fluorescent microscope, scanning electron microscope). Advantages and challenges of using micro-FTIR, ART-FTIR, FPA-FTIR, Pry-GC/MS, and Raman spectroscopy in the identification methods are also discussed. This review suggests that monitoring microplastics needs standardized protocols for extraction, identification and quantification and that further research on the effects of microplastics to human health is needed.

Qiongxuan Qiu, Zhi Tan, Jundong Wang, Jinping Peng, Meimin Li, Zhiwei Zhan, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Volume 176, Pages 102–109, 5 July 2016

The article

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