Fast, Automated Microplastics Analysis Using Laser Direct Chemical Imaging: Characterizing and Quantifying Microplastics in Water Samples from Marine Environments.


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It is estimated that more than 75% of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced over the last 65 years have turned into waste. Up to 13 million metric tons of this waste ends up in the ocean every year and recent calculations estimate that more than 5.25 trillion plastic particles float in the world’s oceans. Scientists have demonstrated the alarming environmental ubiquity and persistence of particulate plastic in aquatic ecosystems. Models predict that approximately 14% of the plastic debris in the ocean surface layer can be classified as so-called microplastics (often referred to as particles between 1 µm and 5 mm in size). These ingestible and potentially harmful particles have been formed by UV-induced, mechanical, or biological degradation of larger debris items. To verify the estimates and to meet upcoming regulatory measures (e.g., California Senate Bill 1422) and directives (MSFD, 2008/56/EC), accurate, time-efficient, and robust analytical workflows and techniques are required.

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