Plastic pollution threatens the marine environment, especially due to the adverse effects caused by micro and nano particles interacting with the marine biota. In order to provide reliable data regarding micro and nanoplastic contamination and the related impacts, efficient analytical solutions are needed. We developed a new analysis workflow that uses marine sponges to monitor plastic pollution by characterizing the plastic particles accumulated in their tissue. Specimens of cf. Haliclona (Haplosclerida) were sampled in the Maldivian archipelago. The aim was to optimize the method and to carry out a pilot study of the contamination of the related reef habitat. Particles were isolated, size fractioned, counted and submitted to morphological and chemical characterization. The constituting polymer was identified by infrared microspectroscopy for particles >25 μm, and by pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometry for those <25 μm. Method recoveries were between 87 and 83% and limits of quantitation (LOQs) were between 6.6 and 30.2 ng/g. Analyses showed that 70% of the sponges presented plastic contamination, with an average of 1.2 particles/g tissue for the 25–150 μm size range, and a total plastic concentration of up to 4.8 μg/g in the 0.2–25 μm size range, with polyolefin being the most represented polymer in both size ranges. Overall, the study demonstrated the reliability of the proposed analytical workflow and of the use of sponges as biosamplers for plastic particles.

Detection of plastic particles in marine sponges by a combined infrared micro-spectroscopy and pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry approach

Biale G.;La Nasa J.;Degano I.;Modugno F.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Plastic pollution threatens the marine environment, especially due to the adverse effects caused by micro and nano particles interacting with the marine biota. In order to provide reliable data regarding micro and nanoplastic contamination and the related impacts, efficient analytical solutions are needed. We developed a new analysis workflow that uses marine sponges to monitor plastic pollution by characterizing the plastic particles accumulated in their tissue. Specimens of cf. Haliclona (Haplosclerida) were sampled in the Maldivian archipelago. The aim was to optimize the method and to carry out a pilot study of the contamination of the related reef habitat. Particles were isolated, size fractioned, counted and submitted to morphological and chemical characterization. The constituting polymer was identified by infrared microspectroscopy for particles >25 μm, and by pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometry for those <25 μm. Method recoveries were between 87 and 83% and limits of quantitation (LOQs) were between 6.6 and 30.2 ng/g. Analyses showed that 70% of the sponges presented plastic contamination, with an average of 1.2 particles/g tissue for the 25–150 μm size range, and a total plastic concentration of up to 4.8 μg/g in the 0.2–25 μm size range, with polyolefin being the most represented polymer in both size ranges. Overall, the study demonstrated the reliability of the proposed analytical workflow and of the use of sponges as biosamplers for plastic particles.
2022
Saliu, F.; Biale, G.; Raguso, C.; La Nasa, J.; Degano, I.; Seveso, D.; Galli, P.; Lasagni, M.; Modugno, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1132208
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