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Article

Microplastic and Fibre Contamination in a Remote Mountain Lake in Switzerland

1
Group of Environmental Physical Chemistry, Department F.-A. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, Institute of Environmental Science, University of Geneva, Uni Carl Vogt, 66, boulevard Carl-Vogt, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
2
Odysseus 3.1, 31 Grande rue de la Guillotière, 69007 Lyon, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092410
Received: 23 June 2020 / Revised: 20 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 27 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydrogeology: Trend, Model, Methodology and Concepts)
The contamination of aquatic environments by microplastics has been largely documented in the last years, especially in oceans, rivers, and lakes, but their occurrence in remote mountain lakes has been scarcely considered. This work aims to investigate the presence and abundance of microplastics and fibres in a remote, alpine, and uninhabited lake in Switzerland (Sassolo). In this study, the water column as well as the sediments were analysed. The isolation of microplastics and fibres from the samples of the sediment was achieved with a digestion process using H2O2 and a density separation technique with NaI. Classification of microparticles (from 5 mm to 125 μm) was first developed with an optical microscope. Infrared spectroscopy was then used to identify and characterize the chemical nature of the microplastics and fibres. On average, 2.6 microplastics and 4.4 fibres per litre were identified in the water column. On the other hand, the results of the sediment samples revealed significant fibre concentrations compared to plastic microparticles (514 fibres and 33 microplastics per kilogram). The most abundant types of microplastic identified in the samples were composed of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Microplastic and fibre sources were not determined, but it is likely that the number of human activities in this area as well as aerial deposition are contributing to contaminate this remote environment with microplastics and fibres. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastics; fibres; infrared spectroscopy; remote mountain lake; water column; sediments microplastics; fibres; infrared spectroscopy; remote mountain lake; water column; sediments
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MDPI and ACS Style

Negrete Velasco, A.d.J.; Rard, L.; Blois, W.; Lebrun, D.; Lebrun, F.; Pothe, F.; Stoll, S. Microplastic and Fibre Contamination in a Remote Mountain Lake in Switzerland. Water 2020, 12, 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092410

AMA Style

Negrete Velasco AdJ, Rard L, Blois W, Lebrun D, Lebrun F, Pothe F, Stoll S. Microplastic and Fibre Contamination in a Remote Mountain Lake in Switzerland. Water. 2020; 12(9):2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092410

Chicago/Turabian Style

Negrete Velasco, Angel d.J., Lionel Rard, Wilfried Blois, David Lebrun, Franck Lebrun, Franck Pothe, and Serge Stoll. 2020. "Microplastic and Fibre Contamination in a Remote Mountain Lake in Switzerland" Water 12, no. 9: 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092410

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