Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Microplastic Contamination of Three Commonly Consumed Seafood Species from Taiwan: A Pilot Study

Version 1 : Received: 27 September 2020 / Approved: 28 September 2020 / Online: 28 September 2020 (17:49:45 CEST)

How to cite: Chen, J.Y.; Lee, Y.; Walther, B.A. Microplastic Contamination of Three Commonly Consumed Seafood Species from Taiwan: A Pilot Study. Preprints 2020, 2020090694 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0694.v1). Chen, J.Y.; Lee, Y.; Walther, B.A. Microplastic Contamination of Three Commonly Consumed Seafood Species from Taiwan: A Pilot Study. Preprints 2020, 2020090694 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0694.v1).

Abstract

Microplastics have already been detected in various human foods, especially seafood. This problem should be especially pertinent to the Taiwanese public because a relatively high proportion of people‘s diet comes from seafood. We therefore present a pilot study of microplastic contamination of seafood products commonly consumed by Taiwanese people. We examined six batches of three seafood species for the presence of microplastics using FTIR spectroscopy. A total of 107 seafood individuals from three species (hard clam Meretrix lusoria, oyster Crassostrea gigas, Loligo squid Loliginidae spp.) weighing a total of 994 grams yielded a total of 100 microplastic particles consisting of nine different polymer types. 91% of microplastic particles were fragments which likely originated from fragmented plastic debris which was then consumed by the seafood species. The mean number of microplastics/kg was 87.9 microplastics/kg across the three examined species. Given that Taiwanese average about 10 kg of seafood consumption per year, we estimate that a few thousand microplastic particles are annually consumed on average. The methodology of this pilot study can now be used to conduct examinations of more seafood species and samples.

Subject Areas

food security; marine anthropogenic litter; microplastics; plastic pollution, seafood; Taiwan

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