Processed fibers are highly present in our daily life and can be either natural, artificial (regenerated cellulose) and synthetic (made with petrochemicals). Their widespread use lead inevitably to a high contamination of environment. Previous studies focus on plastic particles regardless of their type or shape as long as they are comprised between 330μm and 5mm. On the contrary, this study focuses exclusively on fibers using a smaller mesh size net (80μm) to sample freshwater. Moreover, all processed organic fibers are considered, irrespective to their nature. First, the short term temporal variability of the fibers in the environment was assessed. While exposing the sampling net during 1min a coefficient of variation of approx. 45% (with n=6) was determined. It was of only 26% (n=6) when the exposure was of 3min. The assessment of the distribution through the section showed a possible difference in concentrations between the middle of the water surface and the river banks which could be attributed to the intense river traffic within the Paris Megacity. The vertical variability seems negligible as turbulence and current conditions homogenize the distribution of the fibers. A monthly monitoring showed concentrations of 100.6±99.9fibers·m-3 in the Marne River and of: 48.5±98.5, 27.9±26.3, 27.9±40.3 and 22.1±25.3fibers·m-3 from the upstream to downstream points in the Seine River. Once these concentrations are converted into fluxes, it seems that the impact generated by the Paris Megacity cannot be distinguished. Investigations on the role of sedimentation and deposition on the banks are required. This study helped fill some major knowledge gaps regarding the fibers in rivers, their sampling, occurrence, spatial-temporal distribution and fluxes. It is encouraged that future studies include both synthetic and none synthetic fibers.
Fibers, Freshwater, Microplastic sampling, Microplastics, Synthetic fibers
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Rocher, V., Tassin, B., 2018b. Synthetic and non-synthetic anthropogenic fibers in a river under the impact of Paris Megacity: Sampling methodological aspects and flux estimations. Science of the Total Environment 618: 157–164.