Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Airborne Microplastics: A Review Study on Method for Analysis, Occurrence, Movement and Risks

Version 1 : Received: 25 August 2019 / Approved: 30 August 2019 / Online: 30 August 2019 (05:08:43 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Microplastics (of size < 5mm) pollution in our environment is of current concern by researchers, public media and non-governmental organizations. Implications by their presence in aquatic and soil ecosystems have been well studied and documented, but less attention has been paid on airborne microplastics (MPs). Studies concerning airborne microplastics started from 2016 and only a few (n=7) have been published till date. Although, studies may increase in the following years, since air is very important for human survival. Microplastics have been observed in atmospheric fallouts in indoor and outdoor environments using a sampling or vacuum pump, rain sampler and/or particulate fallout collector. Identification and quantification have been carried out by visual, spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques. Factors such as meterological, climatic and anthropogenic influence the distribution and movement of airborne MP. Human exposure may be through inhalation or dermal route with their potential biopersistence and translocation. Ingestion may cause localized inflammation and cancer due to responses by the immune cells, especially in individuals with compromised metabolism and poor clearance mechanisms. Ecological risks involve possible contamination of the ecosystem through a dynamic relationship of MPs in soil, water and air forming a MP contamination cycle. The present review aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of current knowledge or information regarding microplastics in air, identifies gap in knowledge and give suggestions for future research.


air pollution; dermal route; fibers; health risk; inhalation; micropollutants


Chemistry and Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry

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