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Microplastic contamination in an urban area: a case study in Greater Paris

Abstract : This study investigates the microplastic contamination of both urban compartments (wastewater and total atmospheric fallout) and surface water in a continental environment (Greater Paris, France). These first investigations on urban environment confirm the presence of microplastics in sewage, freshwater and total atmospheric fallout and provide knowledge on the type and size distribution of microplastics in the [100 µm-5 000 µm] range. For the first time, the presence of microplastics, mostly fibers, is highlighted in total atmospheric fallout (29-280 particles/m2/day). High levels of fibers were found in wastewater (260-320 x103 particles/m3). In treated effluent, the contamination significantly decreases to 14-50 x103 particles/m3. In River Seine, two sampling devices are used to collect both large and small microplastic particles: i) a plankton net (80 µm mesh) and ii) a manta trawl (330 µm mesh). Sampling with the plankton net showed a predominance of fibers with concentrations ranging from 3 to 108 particles/m3. A greater diversity of both microplastic shapes and types was encountered during manta trawl sampling but at much lower concentrations (0.28-0.47 particles/m3). This combined approach could be relevant and implemented in future studies to provide an accurate overview of microplastic distribution in freshwater.
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Rachid Dris, Johnny Gasperi, Vincent Rocher, Mohammed Saad, Nicolas Renault, et al.. Microplastic contamination in an urban area: a case study in Greater Paris. Environmental Chemistry, CSIRO Publishing, 2015, pp.2015. ⟨10.1071/EN14167⟩. ⟨hal-01134553⟩

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