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The presence of microplastics in commercial salts from different countries

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in saltwater bodies is relatively well studied, but nothing is known about their presence in most of the commercial salts that are widely consumed by humans across the globe. Here, we extracted MP-like particles larger than 149 μm from 17 salt brands originating from 8 different countries followed by the identification of their polymer composition using micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were absent in one brand while others contained between 1 to 10 MPs/Kg of salt. Out of the 72 extracted particles, 41.6% were plastic polymers, 23.6% were pigments, 5.50% were amorphous carbon, and 29.1% remained unidentified. The particle size (mean ± SD) was 515 ± 171 μm. The most common plastic polymers were polypropylene (40.0%) and polyethylene (33.3%). Fragments were the primary form of MPs (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%) and films (10.6%). According to our results, the low level of anthropogenic particles intake from the salts (maximum 37 particles per individual per annum) warrants negligible health impacts. However, to better understand the health risks associated with salt consumption, further development in extraction protocols are needed to isolate anthropogenic particles smaller than 149 μm.

No MeSH data available.


Microscopic images of some of the extracted particles.A (a) polyisoprene/polystyrene, (b) polyethylene, and (c) pigment (phthalocyanine) fragment. Image d is a nylon-6 filament.
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f5: Microscopic images of some of the extracted particles.A (a) polyisoprene/polystyrene, (b) polyethylene, and (c) pigment (phthalocyanine) fragment. Image d is a nylon-6 filament.

Mentions: With regards to the particle morphology, the predominant type were fragments (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%), and films (10.6%) (Fig. 4). No sphere beads were isolated from the salt samples. Figure 5 illustrates the microscopic images of some of the isolated particles. Supplementary InformationFig. 1a–e present the microscopic images and spectra from some of the isolated MPs along with the spectra of reference materials.


The presence of microplastics in commercial salts from different countries
Microscopic images of some of the extracted particles.A (a) polyisoprene/polystyrene, (b) polyethylene, and (c) pigment (phthalocyanine) fragment. Image d is a nylon-6 filament.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382780&req=5

f5: Microscopic images of some of the extracted particles.A (a) polyisoprene/polystyrene, (b) polyethylene, and (c) pigment (phthalocyanine) fragment. Image d is a nylon-6 filament.
Mentions: With regards to the particle morphology, the predominant type were fragments (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%), and films (10.6%) (Fig. 4). No sphere beads were isolated from the salt samples. Figure 5 illustrates the microscopic images of some of the isolated particles. Supplementary InformationFig. 1a–e present the microscopic images and spectra from some of the isolated MPs along with the spectra of reference materials.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

The occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in saltwater bodies is relatively well studied, but nothing is known about their presence in most of the commercial salts that are widely consumed by humans across the globe. Here, we extracted MP-like particles larger than 149 μm from 17 salt brands originating from 8 different countries followed by the identification of their polymer composition using micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were absent in one brand while others contained between 1 to 10 MPs/Kg of salt. Out of the 72 extracted particles, 41.6% were plastic polymers, 23.6% were pigments, 5.50% were amorphous carbon, and 29.1% remained unidentified. The particle size (mean ± SD) was 515 ± 171 μm. The most common plastic polymers were polypropylene (40.0%) and polyethylene (33.3%). Fragments were the primary form of MPs (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%) and films (10.6%). According to our results, the low level of anthropogenic particles intake from the salts (maximum 37 particles per individual per annum) warrants negligible health impacts. However, to better understand the health risks associated with salt consumption, further development in extraction protocols are needed to isolate anthropogenic particles smaller than 149 μm.

No MeSH data available.