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Article

What Is the Minimum Volume of Sample to Find Small Microplastics: Laboratory Experiments and Sampling of Aveiro Lagoon and Vouga River, Portugal

Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) & Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Water 2020, 12(4), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041219
Received: 26 March 2020 / Revised: 16 April 2020 / Accepted: 20 April 2020 / Published: 24 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics in Aquatic Environments and Wastewater Treatment )
Small microplastics (<1 mm) comprise a great fraction of microplastics (<5 mm) found in the environment and are often overlooked due to the constrains of transporting and filtering large volumes of water in grab samplings. The objective of this work was to determine the minimum volume for reliable quantification of small microplastics in the environment. Different volumes (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5 L) of laboratory spikes (fresh and saltwater) and environmental samples were filtered. Sampling volumes of 0.5 L or 1 L are a good compromise between drawbacks, such as effort, time, organic and mineral matter, potential contamination, and reliability of results, evaluated by interquartile range, accuracy, coefficient of variation, and recovery rates. Moreover, the observation of Nile Red-stained environmental samples under 470 nm produced six-times higher concentrations than samples under 254 nm, namely, 18 microplastics L−1 and 3 microplastics L−1 for the Aveiro Lagoon and 1 microplastics L−1 and 0 microplastics L−1 for the Vouga River, Portugal. This work also raises concerns about the underreporting of environmental concentrations of microplastics. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine pollution; microplastic sampling; microplastic analysis; Nile Red marine pollution; microplastic sampling; microplastic analysis; Nile Red
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MDPI and ACS Style

Prata, J.C.; Manana, M.J.; da Costa, J.P.; Duarte, A.C.; Rocha-Santos, T. What Is the Minimum Volume of Sample to Find Small Microplastics: Laboratory Experiments and Sampling of Aveiro Lagoon and Vouga River, Portugal. Water 2020, 12, 1219. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041219

AMA Style

Prata JC, Manana MJ, da Costa JP, Duarte AC, Rocha-Santos T. What Is the Minimum Volume of Sample to Find Small Microplastics: Laboratory Experiments and Sampling of Aveiro Lagoon and Vouga River, Portugal. Water. 2020; 12(4):1219. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041219

Chicago/Turabian Style

Prata, Joana C.; Manana, Maria J.; da Costa, João P.; Duarte, Armando C.; Rocha-Santos, Teresa. 2020. "What Is the Minimum Volume of Sample to Find Small Microplastics: Laboratory Experiments and Sampling of Aveiro Lagoon and Vouga River, Portugal" Water 12, no. 4: 1219. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041219

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