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Leaching of Residual Monomers, Oligomers and Additives from Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, High-density Polyethylene and Polystyrene Virgin Plastics
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Plastic debris are accumulating in our oceans and are degraded into smaller pieces which eventually becomes small enough to be available to lower thropic level organisms. Microplastics, commonly defined as plastic particles <5 mm, are globally distributed and found at remote locations far away from industrialized and populated areas. The effects of macro sized plastics is well understood whilst the effects of microplastics is hard to predict. It is known that microplastics act as transfer vectors for a wide range of toxic chemicals into organisms, and it is also known that the particle itself can cause toxic responses such as increased immune response and endocrine disruption. Researchers utilize virgin plastic pellets in order to determine the toxicological effect of the plastic particle itself, but resent research suggest that these virgin plastics may release chemicals that contribute to the toxic response and thus complicates the interpretation of the results. In present study, five different virgin plastics were allowed to leach in artificial seawater under conditions that mimic those used in particle toxicity studies. Plastics included were polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, high-density polyethylene and polystyrene. Leachable monomers and oligomers were found in three of the five plastics tested: polyvinyl chloride, high-density polyethylene and polystyrene. Leached compounds from polyvinyl chloride were not identified due to time limitations. Aliphatic hydrocarbons in the size C14-C22 were leached out from high-density polyethylene in the concentration range 0.47 × 10-3 – 1.13 × 10-3 μg ml-1 within 24 hours. Polystyrene was found to leach styrene monomer which reached a concentration of 0.17 μg ml-1 within 24 hours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Microplastics; Virgin plastic pellets; Residual monomers; Particle toxicity; GC-MS
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45888OAI: diva2:855478
Subject / course
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2015-09-21Bibliographically approved

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School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden
Chemical Sciences

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