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Issue 12, 2010
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Quantitation of persistent organic pollutants adsorbed on plastic debris from the Northern Pacific Gyre's “eastern garbage patch”

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Abstract

Floating marine plastic debris was found to function as solid-phase extraction media, adsorbing and concentrating pollutants out of the water column. Plastic debris was collected in the North Pacific Gyre, extracted, and analyzed for 36 individual PCB congeners, 17 organochlorine pesticides, and 16 EPA priority PAHs. Over 50% contained PCBs, 40% contained pesticides, and nearly 80% contained PAHs. The PAHs included 2, 3 and 4 ring congeners. The PCBs were primarily CB-11, 28, 44, 52, 66, and 101. The pesticides detected were primarily p,p-DDTs and its metabolite, o,p-DDD, as well as BHC (a,b,g and d). The concentrations of pollutants found ranged from a few ppb to thousands of ppb. The types of PCBs and PAHs found were similar to those found in marine sediments. However, these plastic particles were mostly polyethylene which is resistant to degradation and although functioning similarly to sediments in accumulating pollutants, these had remained on or near the ocean surface. Particles collected included intact plastic items as well as many pieces less than 5 mm in size.

Graphical abstract: Quantitation of persistent organic pollutants adsorbed on plastic debris from the Northern Pacific Gyre's “eastern garbage patch”

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 May 2010, accepted on 30 Sep 2010 and first published on 01 Nov 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00239A
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2010,12, 2226-2236
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    Quantitation of persistent organic pollutants adsorbed on plastic debris from the Northern Pacific Gyre's “eastern garbage patch”

    L. M. Rios*, P. R. Jones, C. Moore and U. V. Narayan, J. Environ. Monit., 2010, 12, 2226
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00239A

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