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Are we contaminating our samples? A preliminary study to investigate procedural contamination during field sampling and processing for microplastic and anthropogenic microparticles

GWINNETT, Claire and Miller, R.Z. (2021) Are we contaminating our samples? A preliminary study to investigate procedural contamination during field sampling and processing for microplastic and anthropogenic microparticles. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 173. p. 113095. ISSN 0025326X

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Abstract or description

Methods for sampling, analysis and interpretation of fresh and saltwater microplastics and anthropogenic microfibers have improved since 2004, but techniques for reducing and monitoring procedural contamination are still limited. Quantifying the amount of procedural contamination introduced to samples improves the robustness of counts of microplastics and anthropogenic microfibers in the environment. This pilot study investigates procedural contamination introduced into water samples when rigorous QA/QC anti-contamination protocols are used and removed. Procedural contamination accounted for 33.8% of the total microfibers and microplastics found in samples when protocols were used (n = 81), but 70.7% when they were not (n = 8). With the use of extensive control sampling and full characterization of samples (morphological, optical and chemical) it was possible to identify the predominant sources of contamination (crew clothing) and make recommendations for anti-contamination and procedural contamination identification/reduction protocols for shoreline and small/medium sized vessel sampling for microplastics and anthropogenic microfibers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microfiber, Microplastic, Contamination control, QA/QC, Anti-contamination, Field sampling
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Forensic Sciences and Policing
Depositing User: Claire GWINNETT
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2022 15:39
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2022 15:39
URI: https://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/7306

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