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High temporal resolution records of outdoor and indoor airborne microplastics

Boakes, Lucy C; Patmore, Ian R; Bancone, Chiara EP; Rose, Neil L; (2023) High temporal resolution records of outdoor and indoor airborne microplastics. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 10.1007/s11356-022-24935-0. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

There is increasing concern regarding airborne microplastics, but to date, studies have typically used coarse interval sampling (a day or longer) to generate deposition and concentration estimates. In this proof-of-concept study, we used a Burkard volumetric spore trap (intake 10 L min−1; recording airborne particulates onto an adhesive-coated tape moving at 2 mm hr−1) to assess whether this approach has potential to record airborne microplastics at an hourly resolution, thereby providing detailed diurnal patterns. Simultaneous sampling at outdoor and indoor locations at rural and urban sites showed clear daily and weekly patterns in microplastic concentrations which may be related to people and vehicle movement. Indoor residential concentrations of suspected microplastics were the highest (reaching hourly concentrations of 40–50 m−3), whilst rural outdoor concentrations were very low (typically 1–2 m−3 h−1). Whilst the approach shows great potential for high resolution data generation, further development is required for spectroscopic analysis and hence chemical confirmation of visual microplastic identification.

Type: Article
Title: High temporal resolution records of outdoor and indoor airborne microplastics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-022-24935-0
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-24935-0
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Airborne microplastics, Atmospheric pollution, Burkard trap, Hourly resolution, Urban environments
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162916
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