2021 journal article

A proposed nomenclature for microplastic contaminants


By: W. Shi*, T. Cui*, H. Wu*, G. LeBlanc, F. Wang* & L. An*

author keywords: Plastic particles; Particle size; Salt solution; Density; Standard format
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 8, 2021

Microplastics are emerging contaminants with a wide environmental distribution and potential to elicit adverse impacts on organisms. Despite this lack of consistency among reports, data obtained from different investigations are often compared, resulting in the potential for misrepresentation of global microplastic contamination. Major interlaboratory variability in quantification of microplastic levels stem from size-related differences in sampling and analysis with different density solutions to separate microplastics. Herein, we propose a nomenclature that provides key information relating to the microplastics abundance in samples. That is, the proposed nomenclature, MPsca, b, informs on mesh or filter size used in sampling, the density of flotation solution used to separate the microplastics, and the detection limit during the analysis progress of microplastics. This proposed nomenclature would facilitate comparisons among studies to avoid over- or under-estimation of global microplastic levels. Moreover, it would also facilitate the interpretation of meta-data in future assessments.