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Microplastics in Sediments of River Yongfeng from Maanshan City, Anhui Province, China

Abstract

This study was performed to evaluate the microplastics (MPs) pollution of sediments from River Yongfeng. It was observed that the MPs in sediments were present with contents of 0.5–16.75 mg/kg and abundances of 5–72 items/kg, coupled by variation coefficients of 109% and 91%, respectively, indicating that the distribution of MPs had high spatial variation. The land-based source of business zone is thought to be the significant contributor to accumulation of MPs in those sites with high quantity of MPs. Film was the predominant shape of MPs in river sediments followed by the line and fragment ones. Meanwhile, the MPs detected were mainly composed by four types including Polypropylene (24%), Polyethylene (61%), Polyethylene Terephthalate (8%) and Polystyrene (7%) based on number fraction, respectively, which indicates that Polypropylene and Polyethylene were the major types of MPs in the sediments. Size fraction performance suggests that those MPs < 1000 μm were of ubiquitous presence. The weathering of fringes was universally observed regardless of varying surface among MPs. Despite digestion with oxidative acid solution and subsequent washing by distilled water unexpected elements can still be detected, which should be considered as determining the materials associated.

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Acknowledgement

This research was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (Grant No. 1808085QD109), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41701553), the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars of Anhui Province, and the Fund of Key Laboratory for Eco-geochemistry of Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China for 2017. The authors are grateful for the support.

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Correspondence to Siping Niu.

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Rao, Z., Niu, S., Zhan, N. et al. Microplastics in Sediments of River Yongfeng from Maanshan City, Anhui Province, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 104, 166–172 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02771-2

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Keyword

  • Microplastics
  • River
  • Sediments
  • Spatial distribution