Plasticiser leaching from polyvinyl chloride microplastics and the implications for environmental risk assessment

Gulizia, Alexandra, Philippa, Bronson, Zacharuk, Jessica, Motti, Cherie A., and Vamvounis, George (2023) Plasticiser leaching from polyvinyl chloride microplastics and the implications for environmental risk assessment. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 195. 115392.

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Microplastics in aquatic environments is a growing concern, particularly due to the leaching of chemical additives such as plasticisers. To develop comprehensive environmental risk assessments (ERAs) of high-concern polymers and plasticisers, an understanding of their leachability is required. This work investigated diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and bisphenol A (BPA) leaching from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) microplastics (average diameter = 191 μm) under simulated marine conditions. Leaching behaviours were quantified using gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and the polymer's physiochemical properties analysed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and optical microscopy. Experimental data were fitted to a diffusion and boundary layer model, which found that BPA leaching was temperature-dependent (diffusion-limited), whereas DEHP leaching was controlled by surface rinsing. Model predictions also highlighted the importance of microplastic size on leaching dynamics. These data contribute towards greater accuracy in ERAs of microplastics, with implications for water quality and waste management, including decommissioning of plastic infrastructure.

Item ID: 80459
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
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Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 05:59
FoR Codes: 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3403 Macromolecular and materials chemistry > 340305 Physical properties of materials @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410599 Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180599 Marine systems and management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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