Microplastics in Mediterranean Sea: A protocol to robustly assess contamination characteristics

Abstract : The study of microplastic pollution involves multidisciplinary analyses on a large number of microplastics. Therefore, providing an overview of plastic pollution is time consuming and, despite high throughput analyses, remains a major challenge. The objective of this study is to propose a protocol to determine how many microplastics must be analyzed to give a representative view of the particle size distribution and chemical nature, and calculate the associated margin error. Based on microplastic data from Tara Mediterranean campaign, this approach is explained through different examples. In this particular case, the results show that only 3% of the collected microplastics need to be analyzed to give a precise view on the scale of the North West Mediterranean Basin (error <5%), and 17.7% to give an overview manta per manta (error <10%). This approach could be an important practical contribution to microplastic studies.
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Mikael Kedzierski, Jonathan Villain, Mathilde Falcou-Préfol, Marie Kerros, Maryvonne Henry, et al.. Microplastics in Mediterranean Sea: A protocol to robustly assess contamination characteristics. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2019, 14 (2), pp.e0212088. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0212088⟩. ⟨hal-02045882⟩

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