Presentation Title

Identification and Characterization of Microplastics in the Atmosphere

Campus

Daytona Beach

Status

Student

Faculty/Staff Department

Civil Engineering

Student Year and Major

Graduate Student, Civil Engineering, Environmental Sustainability and Resilience

Start Date

12-4-2022 2:45 PM

Presentation Type

Short presentation 5-10 minutes

Presentation Description/Abstract

Microplastics (MPs) are defined as small fragments of plastic or synthetic polymer material that are less than 5mm in size. Previous research has primarily focused on MPs in marine and coastal environments; however, characterization of MPs in the atmosphere has been limited. The goal of this study is to investigate MPs in the atmosphere, i.e., their composition, origin, and transport, due to the uncertainties associated with the impacts of MPs on human health upon inhalation. Active and passive sampling is conducted at two diverse locations: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Active sampling entails using the Tisch High Volume Air Sampler, to collect MPs on filters which are collected daily. On the other hand, passive sampling utilizes a setup devised to hold the filter to collect MPs, on a weekly basis. Post sampling procedures are being developed to create a standardized process involving submerging the filters in hydrogen peroxide to eliminate any organic material and to ensure that only MPs are being analyzed followed by vacuum. The concentration of which is being experimented with to ensure optimal results, along with the temperature at which this process occurs. Following this procedure, samples are put through vacuum filtration where the MPs are transferred to a 10 filter for visual analysis. Optical characterization takes place using a ZEISS Axioscope 7 compound microscope to determine the size distribution of these particles.

This study has implications for the effects of MPs on human health

Keywords

Microplastics, Atmosphere, Pollution, Human Health

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Apr 12th, 2:45 PM

Identification and Characterization of Microplastics in the Atmosphere

Microplastics (MPs) are defined as small fragments of plastic or synthetic polymer material that are less than 5mm in size. Previous research has primarily focused on MPs in marine and coastal environments; however, characterization of MPs in the atmosphere has been limited. The goal of this study is to investigate MPs in the atmosphere, i.e., their composition, origin, and transport, due to the uncertainties associated with the impacts of MPs on human health upon inhalation. Active and passive sampling is conducted at two diverse locations: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Active sampling entails using the Tisch High Volume Air Sampler, to collect MPs on filters which are collected daily. On the other hand, passive sampling utilizes a setup devised to hold the filter to collect MPs, on a weekly basis. Post sampling procedures are being developed to create a standardized process involving submerging the filters in hydrogen peroxide to eliminate any organic material and to ensure that only MPs are being analyzed followed by vacuum. The concentration of which is being experimented with to ensure optimal results, along with the temperature at which this process occurs. Following this procedure, samples are put through vacuum filtration where the MPs are transferred to a 10 filter for visual analysis. Optical characterization takes place using a ZEISS Axioscope 7 compound microscope to determine the size distribution of these particles.

This study has implications for the effects of MPs on human health