Climate Change

Implications for Ecotoxicological Environmental Impact Assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The concentration of microplastic particles and fibres was determined in the intertidal sediments at selected sites in Scapa Flow, Orkney, using a super-saturated NaCl flotation technique to extract the plastic and FT-IR spectroscopy to determine the polymer types. Mean concentrations were 730 and 2,300 kg-1 sediment (DW), respectively. Detailed spatial and quantitative analysis revealed that their distribution was a function of proximity to populated areas and associated wastewater effluent, industrial installations, degree of shore exposure and complex tidal flow patterns. Sediment samples from Orkney showed similar levels of microplastic contamination as in two highly populate industrialized mainland UK areas, The Clyde and the Firth of Forth. It was concluded that relative remoteness and a comparative small island population are not predictors of lower microplastic pollution. Furthermore, a larger concerted effort across Scotland and the UK is required to establish a baseline microplastic database for the evaluation of future policy measures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04017078
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Volume143
Issue number12
Early online date28 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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environmental impact assessment
climate change
sediment
spatial analysis
flow pattern
quantitative analysis
polymer
plastic
spectroscopy
effluent
wastewater
pollution

Cite this

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title = "Climate Change: Implications for Ecotoxicological Environmental Impact Assessment",
abstract = "The concentration of microplastic particles and fibres was determined in the intertidal sediments at selected sites in Scapa Flow, Orkney, using a super-saturated NaCl flotation technique to extract the plastic and FT-IR spectroscopy to determine the polymer types. Mean concentrations were 730 and 2,300 kg-1 sediment (DW), respectively. Detailed spatial and quantitative analysis revealed that their distribution was a function of proximity to populated areas and associated wastewater effluent, industrial installations, degree of shore exposure and complex tidal flow patterns. Sediment samples from Orkney showed similar levels of microplastic contamination as in two highly populate industrialized mainland UK areas, The Clyde and the Firth of Forth. It was concluded that relative remoteness and a comparative small island population are not predictors of lower microplastic pollution. Furthermore, a larger concerted effort across Scotland and the UK is required to establish a baseline microplastic database for the evaluation of future policy measures.",
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Climate Change : Implications for Ecotoxicological Environmental Impact Assessment. / Connell, Shea P.; Fernandes, Teresa F.; Hartl, Mark G. J.

In: Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 143, No. 12, 04017078, 12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - Implications for Ecotoxicological Environmental Impact Assessment

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AU - Fernandes, Teresa F.

AU - Hartl, Mark G. J.

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AB - The concentration of microplastic particles and fibres was determined in the intertidal sediments at selected sites in Scapa Flow, Orkney, using a super-saturated NaCl flotation technique to extract the plastic and FT-IR spectroscopy to determine the polymer types. Mean concentrations were 730 and 2,300 kg-1 sediment (DW), respectively. Detailed spatial and quantitative analysis revealed that their distribution was a function of proximity to populated areas and associated wastewater effluent, industrial installations, degree of shore exposure and complex tidal flow patterns. Sediment samples from Orkney showed similar levels of microplastic contamination as in two highly populate industrialized mainland UK areas, The Clyde and the Firth of Forth. It was concluded that relative remoteness and a comparative small island population are not predictors of lower microplastic pollution. Furthermore, a larger concerted effort across Scotland and the UK is required to establish a baseline microplastic database for the evaluation of future policy measures.

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