Phthalate Release from Plastic Fragments and Degradation in Seawater

Abstract : Plastic debris in the environment contains plasticizers, such as phthalates (PAEs), that can be released during plastic aging. Here, two common plastic materials, an insulation layer of electric cables (polyvinyl chloride, PVC-cables) and plastic garbage bag (polyethylene, PE-bags), were incubated in natural seawater under laboratory conditions, and the PAE migration to the seawater phase was studied with varying light and bacterial conditions over a 90-day time course. Free PAEs diluted in seawater were also studied for bacterial degradation. Our results showed that, within the first month of incubation, both plastic materials significantly leached out PAEs into the surrounding water. We found that di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) and din -butyl phthalate (DnBP) were the main PAEs released from the PE-bags, with the highest values of 83.4 ± 12.5 and 120.1 ± 18.0 ng g −1 of plastic, respectively. Furthermore, dimethyl phthalate (DMP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) were the main PAEs released from PVC-cables, with mass fractions as high as 9.5 ± 1.4 and 68.9 ± 10.3 ng g −1 , respectively. Additionally, we found that light and bacterial exposure increased the total amount of PAEs released from PVC-cables by a factor of up to 5, whereas they had no influence in the case of PE-bags.
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Andrea Paluselli, Vincent Fauvelle, François Galgani, Richard Sempere. Phthalate Release from Plastic Fragments and Degradation in Seawater. Environmental Science & Technology, American Chemical Society, 2019, 53 (1), pp.166-175. ⟨10.1021/acs.est.8b05083⟩. ⟨hal-01974368⟩



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