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Nanoplastics formed during the mechanical breakdown of daily-use polystyrene products

Ekvall, Mikael T. LU ; Lundqvist, Martin LU ; Kelpsiene, Egle LU ; Šileikis, Eimantas ; Gunnarsson, Stefán B. LU and Cedervall, Tommy LU (2019) In Nanoscale Advances 1(3). p.1055-1061
Abstract

Large amounts of plastics are released into the environment every day. These released plastics have a clearly documented negative effect on wildlife. Much research attention has been given to large plastic pieces and microplastics. However, if the breakdown of plastics is a continous process, eventually nanoplastics will be produced. Nanoplastics will affect wildlife differently from larger plastic pieces. We have studied the products formed by the mechanical breakdown of two commonly used polystyrene products, takeaway coffee cup lids and expanded polystyrene foam. After breakdown using a food processor, we characterized the breakdown products using seven different methods and found nanosized polystyrene particles with different shapes... (More)

Large amounts of plastics are released into the environment every day. These released plastics have a clearly documented negative effect on wildlife. Much research attention has been given to large plastic pieces and microplastics. However, if the breakdown of plastics is a continous process, eventually nanoplastics will be produced. Nanoplastics will affect wildlife differently from larger plastic pieces. We have studied the products formed by the mechanical breakdown of two commonly used polystyrene products, takeaway coffee cup lids and expanded polystyrene foam. After breakdown using a food processor, we characterized the breakdown products using seven different methods and found nanosized polystyrene particles with different shapes and negative or nearly neutral surface charges. These results clearly demonstrate that daily-use polystyrene products can break down into nanoparticles. Model polystyrene particles with different sizes and surface modifications have previously been shown to have different negative effects on wildlife. This indicates that breakdown nanoparticles might have the potential to cause cocktail effects in nature.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Nanoscale Advances
volume
1
issue
3
pages
1055 - 1061
publisher
Royal Society of Chemistry
external identifiers
  • scopus:85070351392
ISSN
2516-0230
DOI
10.1039/c8na00210j
project
Environmental impact of nanoplastics from fragmentized consumer plastics
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
af9689d8-1d89-44be-a37f-ae94f2001c41
date added to LUP
2019-10-04 10:47:26
date last changed
2020-05-26 05:33:21
@article{af9689d8-1d89-44be-a37f-ae94f2001c41,
  abstract     = {<p>Large amounts of plastics are released into the environment every day. These released plastics have a clearly documented negative effect on wildlife. Much research attention has been given to large plastic pieces and microplastics. However, if the breakdown of plastics is a continous process, eventually nanoplastics will be produced. Nanoplastics will affect wildlife differently from larger plastic pieces. We have studied the products formed by the mechanical breakdown of two commonly used polystyrene products, takeaway coffee cup lids and expanded polystyrene foam. After breakdown using a food processor, we characterized the breakdown products using seven different methods and found nanosized polystyrene particles with different shapes and negative or nearly neutral surface charges. These results clearly demonstrate that daily-use polystyrene products can break down into nanoparticles. Model polystyrene particles with different sizes and surface modifications have previously been shown to have different negative effects on wildlife. This indicates that breakdown nanoparticles might have the potential to cause cocktail effects in nature.</p>},
  author       = {Ekvall, Mikael T. and Lundqvist, Martin and Kelpsiene, Egle and Šileikis, Eimantas and Gunnarsson, Stefán B. and Cedervall, Tommy},
  issn         = {2516-0230},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {1055--1061},
  publisher    = {Royal Society of Chemistry},
  series       = {Nanoscale Advances},
  title        = {Nanoplastics formed during the mechanical breakdown of daily-use polystyrene products},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8na00210j},
  doi          = {10.1039/c8na00210j},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2019},
}