Microplastics in Australian indoor air: Abundance, characteristics, and implications for human exposure

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Files

Perera6637529-Accepted.pdf (657.74 KB)

File version
Accepted Manuscript (AM)
Author(s)
Perera, Kushani
Ziajahromi, Shima
Nash, Susan Bengtson
Leusch, Frederic DL
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
Editor(s)
Date
2023
Size
File type(s)
Location
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Abstract

Studies on airborne microplastics (AMPs) have reported higher abundance of AMPs in indoor air compared to outdoors. Most people spend more time indoors compared to outdoors, and it is therefore important to identify and quantify AMPs in indoor air to understand human exposure to AMPs. This exposure can vary among different individuals as they spend their time in different locations and different activity levels, and thus experience different breathing rates. In this study, AMPs ranging from 20–5000 μm were sampled across different indoor sites of Southeast Queensland using an active sampling technique. The highest indoor MP concentration was observed at a childcare site (2.25 ± 0.38 particles/m3), followed by an office (1.20 ± 0.14 particles/m3) and a school (1.03 ± 0.40 particles/m3). The lowest indoor MP concentration was observed inside a vehicle (0.20 ± 0.14 particles/m3), comparable to outdoor concentrations. The only shapes observed were fibers (98%) and fragments. MP fibers ranged from 71 to 4950 μm in length. Polyethylene terephthalate was the prominent polymer type at most sites. Using our measured airborne concentrations as inhaled air concentrations, we calculated the annual human exposure levels to AMPs using scenario-specific activity levels. Males between the ages of 18 to 64 were calculated to have the highest AMP exposure at 3187 ± 594 particles/year, followed by males ≥65 years at 2978 ± 628 particles/year. The lowest exposure of 1928 ± 549 particles/year was calculated for females between the ages of 5 to 17. This study provides the first report on AMPs for various types of indoor locations where individuals spend most of their time. Considering acute, chronic, industrial, and individual susceptibility, more detailed human inhalation exposure levels to AMPs should be estimated for a realistic appraisal of the human health risk, including how much of the inhaled particles are exhaled.

Journal Title
Science of The Total Environment
Conference Title
Book Title
Edition
Volume
889
Issue
Thesis Type
Degree Program
School
Publisher link
Patent number
Funder(s)
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement
© 2023. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Item Access Status
Note
Access the data
Related item(s)
Subject
Pollution and contamination
Biomedical and clinical sciences
Active sampling
Atmosphere
Fiber
Indoor air
Microplastics
Persistent link to this record
Citation
Perera, K; Ziajahromi, S; Nash, SB; Leusch, FDL, Microplastics in Australian indoor air: Abundance, characteristics, and implications for human exposure, Science of The Total Environment, 2023, 889, pp. 164292
Collections