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Title: Occurrence and size distribution study of microplastics in household water from different cities in continental Spain and the Canary Islands
Authors: Gálvez Blanca, Virginia
Edo, Carlos
González Pleiter, Miguel
Albentosa, Marina
Bayo, Javier
Beiras, Ricardo
Fernández Piña, Francisca
Gago, Jesús
Gómez, May 
González Cascón, Rosario
Hernández Borges, Javier
Landaburu Aguirre, Junkal
Martinez Sanchez,Ico 
Muniategui Lorenzo, Soledad
Romera Castillo, Cristina
Rosal, Roberto
UNESCO Clasification: 330811 Control de la contaminación del agua
331210 Plásticos
330918 Bebidas no alcohólicas
Keywords: Microplastics
Drinking water
Particle size distribution
Number concentration, et al
Issue Date: 2023
Project: Spanish Network of Plastics in the Environment, EnviroPlaNet
Journal: Water Research 
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in drinking water in Spain by comparing tap water from different locations using common sampling and identification procedures. We sampled tap water from 24 points in 8 different locations from continental Spain and the Canary Islands by means of 25 μm opening size steel filters coupled to household connections. All particles were measured and spectroscopically characterized including not only MPs but also particles consisting of natural materials with evidence of industrial processing, such as dyed natural fibres, referred insofar as artificial particles (APs). The average concentration of MPs was 12.5 ± 4.9 MPs/m3 and that of anthropogenic particles 32.2 ± 12.5 APs/m3. The main synthetic polymers detected were polyamide, polyester, and polypropylene, with lower counts of other polymers including the biopolymer poly(lactic acid). Particle size and mass distributions were parameterized by means of power law distributions, which allowed performing estimations of the concentration of smaller particles provided the same scaling parameter of the power law applies. The calculated total mass concentration of the identified MPs was 45.5 ng/L. The observed size distribution of MPs allowed an estimation for the concentration of nanoplastics (< 1 µm) well below the ng/L range; higher concentrations are not consistent with scale invariant fractal fragmentation. Our findings showed that MPs in the drinking water sampled in this work do not represent a significant way of exposure to MPs and would probably pose a negligible risk for human health.
ISSN: 1879-2448
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2023.120044
Source: Water Research [EISSN 1879-2448], v. 238, 120044, (June 2023)
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