Microplastics in the environment: an analytical challenge
For the last 15 years, an increasing number of researchers have addressed the topic of "Microplastics and their impact on the environment". Following a report of the NDR in June 2014, this was fiercely discussed in Germany. Prof. Dr. Gerd Liebezeit of the Carl-von-Ossietzky University in Oldenburg had analyzed beer and mineral water looking for microplastics and found them. In a number of analyzed beverages he was able to prove the presence of smallest plastic fibers. There were also microplastics found in food products.
Suitable methods to identify and quantify have to be developed
Looking for microplastics in different matrices, something was apparent quite fast:
suitable analytical methods had to be developed and established to get reliable results. Prof. Dr. Elke Fries et al. describe in Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013, 15, 1949, how pyrolysis-GC/MS can be used effectively to identify marine microplastic particles.