Trace elements in microplastics stranded on beaches of remote islands in the NE Atlantic
Date of publication 29 June 2020
Authors Martins, Inês; Rodríguez, Yasmina; Pham, Christopher K.
Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 156, 111270.
The increased quantity of microplastics entering the oceans is threatening the health of marine ecosystems worldwide. Microplastics are of particular concern because they are available to a wide range of organisms and can possibly transfer potential toxic substances such as trace elements. Herein, we provide baseline information on the spatio-temporal variation of trace elements adsorbed to plastic fragments (1-5 mm) stranded in two beaches of oceanic islands of the Azores archipelago, North-East Atlantic. While trace elements such as Ca, Mg and Fe were found in high concentrations probably as a result of particular features of volcanic characteristics in the region, other elements were particularly low compared to other locations. Our results provide new information on the levels of trace elements associated with microplastics, necessary for the development of a risk assessment framework for plastic pollution in this remote region of the North-East Atlantic Ocean.