Microplastics in Spanish Table Salt

February 7, 2019

Title

Microplastics in Spanish Table Salt

Author

Maria E. Iñiguez, Juan A. Conesa & Andres Fullana

Year

2018

Journal

Scientific Reports

Abstract

Marine debris is widely recognized as a global environmental problem. One of its main components, microplastics, has been found in several sea salt samples from different countries, indicating that sea products are irremediably contaminated by microplastics. Previous studies show very confusing results, reporting amounts of microparticles (MPs) in salt ranging from zero to 680 MPs/kg, with no mention of the possible causes of such differences. Several errors in the experimental procedures used were found and are reported in the present work. Likewise, 21 different samples of commercial table salt from Spain have been analyzed for MPs content and nature. The samples comprise sea salts and well salts, before and after packing. The microplastic content found was of 50–280 MPs/kg salt, being polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) the most frequently found polymer, followed by polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), with no significant differences among all the samples. The results indicate that even though the micro-particles might originate from multiple sources, there is a background presence of microplastics in the environment.

Instrument

IRT-5200

Keywords

Salt, microplastics, marine, Raman