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Plastic litter is an ever-increasing global issue and one of this generation’s key environmental challenges. Microplastics have reached oceans via river transport on a global scale. With the exception of two megacities, Paris (France) and Dongguan (China), there is a lack of information on atmospheric microplastic deposition or transport. Here we present the observations of atmospheric microplastic deposition in a remote, pristine mountain catchment (French Pyrenees). We analysed samples, taken over five months, that represent atmospheric wet and dry deposition and identified fibres up to ~750 µm long and frag- ments ≤300 µm as microplastics. We document relative daily counts of 249 fragments, 73 films and 44 fibres per square metre that deposited on the catchment. An air mass trajectory analysis shows microplastic transport through the atmosphere over a distance of up to 95 km. We suggest that microplastics can reach and affect remote, sparsely inhabited areas through atmospheric transport.
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... Six observation sites were selected in 2020 and eight observation sites were selected in 2021 (three overlapped with 2020) (Table S1). Wind-blown sand (saltation) and dust (suspension) samples were collected using an NFOC made of stainless steel 5 and glass dust-collecting cylinders, 6 respectively. The distance between the NFOC and the dust-collecting cylinder was 3 m ( Figure S1C). ...
... The dust collector was placed on a stand 1.2 m above the ground, which is the common height used when sampling suspended soil particles ( Figure S1E). 6,9 Wind-blown sand referred to saltation (generally soil particles larger than 0.05 mm in size), and dust referred to ...
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Microplastics (MPs) have become a problematic pollutant in different environments. Dry soil aggregates may have a remarkable influence on the emissions of MPs from surface soil due to wind erosion. Here, we sampled surface soils and monitored wind erosion events to investigate the number of MPs distributed in different dry soil aggregate sizes and the implications for MP emissions induced by wind erosion. Of the MPs in soils, 35% (453.49 ± 187.62 kg −1) were associated with soil aggregates and 65% (848.69 ± 412.04 kg −1) were dispersed. Only 38% of all fiber and 27% of all nonfiber MPs were associated with soil aggregates. The abundances of <2.5 mm fibers and <0.5 mm nonfibers decreased exponentially with an increase in aggregate size. With an increase in the abundance of microfibers associated with soil aggregates, the total organic matter and nitrogen contents increased while the mean soil particle size decreased. The MP size distributions for different soil aggregate size fractions showed sigmoid trends similar to those described by logistic models. The aggregate stability and wind speed were inversely and positively correlated with microfiber enrichment, respectively, in wind-blown sand and dust. This study provides the first insights into the number distribution of MPs in different dry soil aggregate fractions.
... The hydrosphere has been contaminated worldwide, including the coastlines, polar regions, and Mariana Trench (Lebreton and Andrady, 2019). MPs in the hydrosphere mainly originated from land-based (e.g., road runoff, streams, wastewater effluents) and air-based sources (MPs conveyed by winds and atmospheric fallout) (Allen et al., 2019;Lebreton et al., 2017). Through water-vapor exchanges, the concentration of MPs (0.1-1 mm) can reach as high as 917 items⋅m -2 ⋅d -1 according to a study in Vietnam (Dris et al., 2015). ...
... In horizontal transportation, the average concentrations of airborne MPs increase at downwind sites (Browne et al., 2010). The atmosphere can quickly convey the MPs to remote and sparse areas over 95 km (Allen et al., 2019). Vertically, Liu et al. (2019) recorded that the highest concentrations were at 1.7 m above the ground, decreasing as altitude increased. ...
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Microplastics (MPs; <5 mm) in the biosphere draws public concern about their potential health impacts. Humans are potentially exposed to MPs via ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. Ingestion and inhalation are the two major exposure pathways. An adult may consume approximately 5.1×10³ items from table salts and up to 4.1×10⁴ items via drinking water annually. Meanwhile, MP inhalation intake ranges from 0.9×10⁴ to 7.9×10⁴ items per year. The intake of MPs would be further distributed in different tissues and organs of humans depending on their sizes. The excretion has been discussed with the possible clearance ways (e.g., urine and feces). The review summarized the absorption, distribution, metabolic toxicity and excretion of MPs together with the attached chemicals. Moreover, the potential implications on humans are also discussed from in vitro and in vivo studies, and connecting the relationship between the physicochemical properties and the potential risks. This review will contribute to a better understanding of MPs as culprits and/or vectors linking to potential human health hazards, which will help outline the promising areas for further revealing the possible toxicity pathways.
... From Table 1, it can be seen that various researchers have identified the presence of varied microplastics in terms of shape, size, and composition in different cities of the world, viz. 118 particles m -2 day -1 in Greater Paris, France (Dris et al., 2015); 175 -313 particles m -2 day -1 in Dongguan City ; 365 ± 69 particles m -2 day -1 in French Pyrenees (Allen et al., 2019) and 136.5 and 512.0 particles m -2 day -1 in Hamburg, Germany (Klein & Fischer, 2019). According to Dris et al. (2017), the amount of microplastics in indoor air (1 -60 fibres m -3 ) was substantially greater than in outside air (0.3 -1.5 fibres m -3 ). ...
... Similarly, Liu et al. (2019aLiu et al. ( , 2019bLiu et al. ( , 2019c observed the higher concertation of microplastics in land-based sampling to sea air due to the dilution effect of sea air and human activity. Rain and snow play an important role in microplastics deposition (Allen et al., 2019;Gasperi et al., 2018). The above studies confirmed that the climate conditions, seasonality, population density, and sampling methodology may also influence the deposition and concentration of microplastics. ...
Chapter
Microplastics in the environment pose a significant threat to the entire ecosystem. Household activity, industrial activity, tyre wear and tear, construction, incineration, plastic litter, landfill, and agricultural activities are the major sources of microplastics in the environment. Microplastics can freely float and adapt between different environmental mediums in the ecosystem due to their lightweight and low-density characteristics. Eventually, microplastics entering the ocean from different pathways result in accumulation and widespread distribution in the marine environment. The frequent interaction between microplastic and aquatic environments accumulates the microplastics in live organisms. The microplastic accumulation and exposure to animals and humans will also affect the ecosystem. This chapter seeks to understand the sources, pathways, and abundance of microplastics in a different environment. The study also highlights the future research prospects for mitigation of plastic towards environment protection.
... Despite the fact that mass manufacturing of plastics began in the early 1940s, the tremendous increase in their production is practically unrivaled among synthetic materials (Gambarini et al. 2021). Plastics have become ubiquitous throughout the world as a result of atmospheric and oceanic movement and can be found in abundance everywhere from deep-sea sediments to pristine mountains (Allen et al. 2019). Plastics in marine ecosystems are of increasing concern because of their detrimental impact on aquatic life. ...
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Biodegradation is the most promising environmentally sustainable method that offers a significant opportunity with minimal negative environmental consequences while searching for solutions to this global problem of plastic pollution that has now spread to almost everywhere in the entire world. In the present work, HDPE-degrading bacterial strain CGK112 was isolated from the fecal matter of a cow. The bacterial strain was identified as Micrococcus luteus CGK112 by 16S rRNA sequence coding analysis. Significant weight loss, i.e., 3.85% was recorded in the HDPE film treated with strain CGK112 for 90 days. The surface micromorphology was examined using FE-SEM, which revealed spectacular bacterial colonization as well as structural deformation. Furthermore, the EDX study indicated a significant decrease in the atomic percentage of carbon content, whereas FTIR analysis confirmed functional groups alternation as well as an increase in the carbonyl index which can be attributed to the metabolic activity of biofilm. Our findings provide insight into the capacity of our strain CGK112 to colonize and utilize HDPE as a single carbon source, thus promoting its degradation.
... As the atmosphere does not have any physical boundary, MPs and NPs pollutants released or produced in a geographical location can be easily transported to the next place. For example, an air mass trajectory study revealed that MPs travel up to 95 km in the atmosphere (Allen et al., 2019). This study reported, MP particles in marine boundary layer air samples on the French Atlantic coast, both onshore winds, which had an average of 2.9 MP/m 3 , and offshore winds, which had 9.6 MP/m 3 (Allen et al., 2020). ...
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Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) are emerging environmental pollutants, having a major ecotoxico-logical concern to humans and many other biotas, especially aquatic animals. The physical and chemical compositions of MPs majorly determine their ecotoxicological risks. However, comprehensive knowledge about the exposure routes and toxic effects of MPs/NPs on animals and human health is not fully known. Here this review focuses on the potential exposure routes, human health impacts, and toxicity response of MPs/NPs on human health, through reviewing the literature on studies conducted in different in vitro and in vivo experiments on organisms, human cells, and the human experimental exposure models. The current literature review has highlighted ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contacts as major exposure routes of MPs/NPs. Further, oxidative stress, cytotoxicity, DNA damage, inflammation, immune response, neurotoxicity, metabolic disruption, and ultimately affecting digestive systems, immunology, respiratory systems, reproductive systems, and nervous systems, as serious health consequences.
... Moreover, recent data have shown the presence of airborne MNPLs in human lung tissue [10] and the bloodstream [54]. Atmospheric research on MNPLs highlights that they can impact remote and under-developed areas that do not have any local sources of plastic [55]. In addition, the dynamics of ocean circulation and marine currents represent important space-time scales in terms of the destination, transport, and effects of micro and nanoplastics on the environment, affecting fauna, and consequently, human life [56]. ...
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In recent years, airborne microplastics have been identified in a range of remote environments. However, data throughout the Southern Hemisphere, in particular Antarctica, are largely absent to date. We collected snow samples from 19 sites across the Ross Island region of Antarctica. Suspected microplastic particles were isolated and their composition confirmed using micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (µFTIR). We identified microplastics in all Antarctic snow samples at an average concentration of 29 particles L−1, with fibres the most common morphotype and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) the most common polymer. To investigate sources, backward air mass trajectories were run from the time of sampling. These indicate potential long-range transportation of up to 6000 km, assuming a residence time of 6.5 d. Local sources were also identified as potential inputs into the environment as the polymers identified were consistent with those used in clothing and equipment from nearby research stations. This study adds to the growing body of literature regarding microplastics as a ubiquitous airborne pollutant and establishes their presence in Antarctica.
Chapter
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