Abstract: Plastic debris has been detected in the oceans, in soils, sediments and surface waters worldwide and emissions are expected to increase in the coming years. Here, so-called nano- and microplastics, are of special concern because they can be ingested throughout the food web more readily than larger particles. To date the majority of research into nano- and microplastic “pollution” has focused on marine systems; however, recent studies have indicated that up to 90% of the plastic in the seas originates from terrestrial and freshwater sources. In the present proposal, fate and occurrence of nano- and microplastics in the aquatic and terrestrial environment, and possible effects on organisms will be critically evaluated. The main objectives of this study are to detection, characterization and quantification of nano- and microplastics in water and sediment samples, assess the transport mechanisms and fate of microplastics in river catchment and soil columns, investigating the microplastic persistence in waters, sediments and soils, develop a picture of the environmental distribution of nano- and microplastics, and assess potential environmental health risks of nano- and microplastics. Water and sediment samples are collected from a different rivers and lakes in the northern Taiwan and the microplastics content will be analyzed using a variety of physico-chemical tests and FTIR spectroscopy. Different freshwater bodies are sampled: Tamsui River, Dahan River, Keelung River, and Xindian River. Water samples were obtained by in situ and ex situ methods. Finally the evidence of nano- and microplastics contamination in freshwater and sediments of Northern Taiwan will be quantified, the microplastics in studied region will be characterized in details, and potential effects of nano- and microplastic will be determined. The results of this study would be beneficial to identify the key challenges in the research of the environmental consequences of nano- and microplastic released into the environment.
Nano- and microplastics