Microplastics' emissions: microfibers’ detachment from textile garments
Rights accessOpen Access
Microplastics (synthetic polymers <5¿mm) have been recently recognized as a big environmental concern, as their ubiquity is an undeniable fact. Their wide variety regarding shapes, sizes, and materials turn them into an intrinsically risky pollutant capable of causing several environmental impacts. Textile microfibers (MF) are a microplastic sub-group. These are mostly shed when a normal laundry of any garment takes place. Special attention has been put onto them, as high concentrations have been found in products for human consumption as shellfish and tap water. However, as there is no consensus on the methodologies to quantify and report the results of MFs detached from textile garments, the degree of similarity between published studies is very low. Hence, the aim of this research was to evaluate the microfibers’ detachment rates of finished garments and to provide a set of comparable units to report the results. These were found to range between 175 and 560¿MF/g or 30000–465000¿MF/m2 of garment. In addition, there was a high correlation between the MF detachment and the textile article superficial density. Finally, our results were compared with a recent paper that estimated the annual mass flow of MFs to the oceans. This previous publication is 30 times higher when related to the mass but 40 times lower if related to the number of MFs
CitationBelzagui, F. [et al.]. Microplastics' emissions: microfibers’ detachment from textile garments. "Environmental pollution", 1 Maig 2019, vol. 248, p. 1028-1035.