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A snapshot of microplastics in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea

Tania Martellini, Cristiana Guerranti, Costanza Scopetani, Alberto Ugolini, David Chelazzi, Alessandra Cincinelli
Trends in analytical chemistry 2018 v.109 pp. 173-179
coasts, estuaries, marine debris, microplastics, pollution, rivers, sediments, Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is affected by one of the most significant plastic pollution worldwide. This review critically evaluates the most recent literature on the presence of microplastics in sediments, suggested to be long term sinks and have a high potential to accumulate this kind of marine debris. A picture of microplastic levels in coastal environments is given, evidencing information gaps and considering also estuary, lagoons and areas influenced by the contribution of rivers. A wide range of contamination levels has been found, with the highest in lagoon and estuary environments. The lack of homogeneity in the methods of study and the need to harmonize the latter and the expression of the results in addition to the need to obtain data on the contributions of the main tributaries of the Mediterranean and on lagoons, are other important considerations taken.