JOURNAL ARTICLE

Organic micropollutants in marine plastics debris from the open ocean and remote and urban beaches

Hisashi Hirai, Hideshige Takada, Yuko Ogata, Rei Yamashita, Kaoruko Mizukawa, Mahua Saha, Charita Kwan, Charles Moore, Holly Gray, Duane Laursen, Erik R Zettler, John W Farrington, Christopher M Reddy, Emily E Peacock, Marc W Ward
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 62 (8): 1683-92
21719036
To understand the spatial variation in concentrations and compositions of organic micropollutants in marine plastic debris and their sources, we analyzed plastic fragments (∼10 mm) from the open ocean and from remote and urban beaches. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), alkylphenols and bisphenol A were detected in the fragments at concentrations from 1 to 10,000 ng/g. Concentrations showed large piece-to-piece variability. Hydrophobic organic compounds such as PCBs and PAHs were sorbed from seawater to the plastic fragments. PCBs are most probably derived from legacy pollution. PAHs showed a petrogenic signature, suggesting the sorption of PAHs from oil slicks. Nonylphenol, bisphenol A, and PBDEs came mainly from additives and were detected at high concentrations in some fragments both from remote and urban beaches and the open ocean.

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