JOURNAL ARTICLE

Microplastics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Xiamen coastal areas: Implications for anthropogenic impacts

Guowen Tang, Mengyang Liu, Qian Zhou, Haixia He, Kai Chen, Haibo Zhang, Jiahui Hu, Qinghui Huang, Yongming Luo, Hongwei Ke, Bin Chen, Xiangrong Xu, Minggang Cai
Science of the Total Environment 2018 September 1, 634: 811-820
29653425
Microplastics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated to study the influence of human activities and to find their possible relationship on the coastal environments, where the coastal areas around Xiamen are undergoing intensive processes of industrialization and urbanization in the southeast China. The abundance of microplastics in Xiamen coastal areas was 103 to 2017particles/m3 in surface seawater and 76 to 333 particles/kg in sediments. Concentrations of dissolved PAHs varied from 18.1 to 248ng/L in surface seawater. The abundances of microplastics from the Western Harbor in surface seawater and sediments were higher than those from other areas. Foams were dominated in surface seawater samples, however, no foams were found in sediments samples. The microscope selection and FTIR analysis suggested that polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) were dominant microplastics. The cluster analysis results demonstrated that fibers and granules had the similar sources, and films had considerably correlation with all types of PAHs (3 or 4-ring PAHs and alkylated PAHs). Plastic film mulch from agriculture practice might be a potential source of microplastics in study areas. Results of our study support that river runoff, watershed area, population and urbanization rate influence the distribution of microplastics in estuarine surface water, and the prevalence of microplastic pollution calls for monitoring microplastics at a national scale.

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