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Journal Articles Environmental Pollution Year : 2024

COVID lockdown significantly impacted microplastic bulk atmospheric deposition rates

Abstract

Here, microplastic atmospheric deposition data collected at an urban site during the French national lockdown of spring 2020 is compared to deposition data from the same site in a period of normal activity. Bulk atmospheric deposition was collected on the vegetated roof of a suburban campus from the Greater Paris and analysed for microplastics using a micro-FTIR imaging methodology. Significantly lower deposition rates were measured overall during the lockdown period (median 5.4 MP m−2.d−1) than in a period of normal activity in spring 2021 (median of 29.2 MP m−2.d−1). This difference is however not observed for the smallest microplastic size class. The dominant polymers identified were PP, followed by PE and PS. Precipitation alone could not explain the differences between the two campaigns, and it is suggested that the temporary drop in human activity during lockdown is the primary cause of the reduced deposition rates. This study provides novel insight on the immediate impact of human activities on atmospheric microplastics, thus enhancing the global understanding on this topic.
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Dates and versions

hal-04396596 , version 1 (16-01-2024)

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Max Beaurepaire, Johnny Gasperi, Bruno Tassin, Rachid Dris. COVID lockdown significantly impacted microplastic bulk atmospheric deposition rates. Environmental Pollution, 2024, 344, pp.123354. ⟨10.1016/j.envpol.2024.123354⟩. ⟨hal-04396596⟩
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