Benzotriazole-type ultraviolet stabilizers and antioxidants in plastic marine debris and their new products

Ultraviolet stabilizers (UVSs) and antioxidants are the most widely used additives in plastics to enhance the lifetime of polymeric materials. There is growing interest in the roles of plastic marine debris and microplastics as source or vector of toxic substances to marine environment and organisms. However, there is limited information available on plastic associated chemicals, particularly additive chemicals. Therefore, to evaluate their extent of exposure from plastics to the marine environment, we determined UVSs and antioxidants in plastic debris (n = 29) collected from beaches along with their corresponding new plastic products in markets (n = 27) belonging to food, fisheries, and general use. Antioxidants were present at higher concentrations than UVSs in both plastic debris and new plastics, indicative of their high use over UVSs. Irganox 1076 and Irganox 1010 were more commonly used than other chemicals investigated. The irregular use with high concentration of additive chemicals was observed in short-term use plastic products. Except for Irganox 1076 and UV 326, most antioxidants and UVSs were relatively high in new plastics compared to corresponding plastic marine debris, implying their potential leaching or degradation during use or after disposal. The present study provides quantitative information about additive chemicals contained in plastic marine debris and their new products. These results could be useful for better understanding of environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals through plastic pollution.

Manviri Rani, Won Joon Shim, Gi Myung Han, Mi Jang, Young Kyoung Song, Sang Hee Hong, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 579, Pages 745–754, February 2017

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