Nanoplastic occurrence in a soil amended with plastic debris

Catégorie : Détection & Caractérisation
Date :17 décembre 2020
Wahl, Aurelie; Le Juge, Corentin; Davranche, Melanie; El Hadri, Hind; Grassl, Bruno; Reynaud, Stephanie; Gigault, Julien.
Chemosphere : 262
While several studies have investigated the potential impact of nanoplastics, proof of their occurrence in our global environment has not yet been demonstrated. In the present work, by developing an innovative analytical strategy, the presence of nanoplastics in soil was identified for the first time. Our results demonstrate the presence of nanoplastics with a size ranging from 20 to 150 nm and covering three of the most common plastic families: polyethylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride. Given the amount of organic matter in the soil matrix, the discrimination and identification of large nanoplastic aggregates are challenging. However, we provided an innovative methodology to circumvent the organic matter impact on nanoplastic detection by coupling size fractionation to molecular analysis of plastics. While photodegradation has been considered the principal formation pathway of nanoplastics in the environment, this study provides evidence, for the first time, that plastic degradation and nanoplastic production can, however, occur in the soil matrix. Moreover, by providing an innovative and simple extraction/analysis method, this study paves the way to further studies, notably regarding nanoplastic environmental fate and impacts. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.