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Review

Atmospheric Micro and Nanoplastics: An Enormous Microscopic Problem

1
Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
2
Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Torino, Via Pietro Giuria 5, 10125 Torino, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7327; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187327
Received: 13 July 2020 / Revised: 22 August 2020 / Accepted: 4 September 2020 / Published: 7 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics - Macro Challenge for Environmental Sustainability)
Atmospheric plastic pollution is now a global problem. Microplastics (MP) have been detected in urban atmospheres as well as in remote and pristine environments, showing that suspension, deposition and aeolian transport of MP should be included and considered as a major transport pathway in the plastic life cycle. This work reports an up to date review of the experimental estimation of deposition rate of MP in rural and urban environment, also analyzing the correlation with meteorological factors. Due to the limitations in sampling and instrumental methodology, little is known about MP and nanoplastics (NP) with sizes lower than 50 µm. In this review, we describe how NP could be transported for longer distances than MP, making them globally present and potentially more concentrated than MP. We highlight that it is crucial to explore new methodologies to collect and analyze NP. Future research should focus on the development of new technologies, combining the existent knowledge on nanomaterial and atmospheric particle analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: plastic cycle; micro and nanoplastics; transport; atmosphere plastic cycle; micro and nanoplastics; transport; atmosphere
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bianco, A.; Passananti, M. Atmospheric Micro and Nanoplastics: An Enormous Microscopic Problem. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7327. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187327

AMA Style

Bianco A, Passananti M. Atmospheric Micro and Nanoplastics: An Enormous Microscopic Problem. Sustainability. 2020; 12(18):7327. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187327

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bianco, Angelica, and Monica Passananti. 2020. "Atmospheric Micro and Nanoplastics: An Enormous Microscopic Problem" Sustainability 12, no. 18: 7327. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187327

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