Microplastic Contamination of Three Commonly Consumed Seafood Species from Taiwan: A Pilot Study

Catégorie : Impacts de la Pollution
Date :17 décembre 2020
Chen, Jennifer Yee-Shian; Lee, Yao-Chang; Walther, Bruno A.
Sustainability : 12 (DocId: 22)
Microplastics have already been detected in various human foods, especially seafood. This problem should be especially pertinent to the Taiwanese public because a relatively high proportion of people’s diet comes from seafood. Therefore, a pilot study of microplastic contamination of seafood products commonly consumed by Taiwanese people is presented. Six batches of three seafood species were examined for the presence of microplastics using FTIR spectroscopy. A total of 107 seafood individuals from three species (hard clam Meretrix lusoria, oyster Crassostrea gigas, Loligo squid Loliginidae spp.) weighing a total of 994 g yielded a total of 100 microplastic particles consisting of nine different polymer types. The most common polymer types were polypropylene, poly(ethylene:propylene:diene), and polyethylene terephthalate; we also detected six additional, but less common polymer types. A total of 91% of microplastic particles were fragments that likely originated from fragmented plastic debris which was then consumed by the seafood species; the remaining particles were fibers and a pellet. The mean number of microplastics kg(-1) was 87.9 microplastics kg(-1) across the three examined species. Given that the Taiwanese public average about 10 kg of seafood consumption per year, a few thousand microplastic particles are estimated to be annually consumed on average. The methodology of this pilot study can now be used to conduct examinations of more seafood species and samples.