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Assuring quality in microplastic monitoring: About the value of clean-air devices as essentials for verified data

  • Avoiding aerial microfibre contamination of environmental samples is essential for reliable analyses when it comes to the detection of ubiquitous microplastics. Almost all laboratories have contamination problems which are largely unavoidable without investments in clean-air devices. Therefore, our study supplies an approach to assess background microfibre contamination of samples in the laboratory under particle-free air conditions. We tested aerial contamination of samples indoor, in a mobile laboratory, within a laboratory fume hood and on a clean bench with particles filtration during the examining process of a fish. The used clean bench reduced aerial microfibre contamination in our laboratory by 96.5%. This highlights the value of suitable clean-air devices for valid microplastic pollution data. Our results indicate, that pollution levels by microfibres have been overestimated and actual pollution levels may be many times lower. Accordingly, such clean-air devices are recommended for microplastic laboratory applications in future research work to significantly lower error rates.

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Author:Charlotte Wesch, Anna Maria Elert, Manuel Wörner, Ulrike Braun, Roland Klein, Martin Paulus
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2017/08/01
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2017/08/01
GND Keyword:Chemische Analyse; Kontamination; Mikrofaser; Qualitätssicherung; Umweltprobe
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05838-4
Source:Scientific Reports 7 (2017)
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Raum- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften

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