Microplastics are a class of pollutant which have been detected in all environmental matrices. Research to date has primarily focused on microplastics in the marine environment, however knowledge regarding the hydrosphere, geosphere and atmosphere remains comparatively limited. Recently, attention has been directed towards understanding microplastics in the atmosphere, centred around identification in remote locations, above the planetary boundary and concerns regarding human health exposure and outcomes, especially as a constituent of particulate matter in the smaller particle size ranges. Taking a holistic approach to the definition of the atmospheric environment, the atmosphere includes ambient air (measured as the number of microplastics/m3), deposition (microplastics/m2/day) and dust (microplastics/g) which is capable of resuspension into the air. This thesis review will provide an overview of the work undertaken to date, including a summary of the literature covering microplastics in air, identification of an emission source of microplastics into air from laundry dryers and the quantification of selected microplastics in road dust. The final research chapter will address some of the analytical challenges associated with the mass quantification of microplastics in matrix which includes black carbon and other combustion particulates.

Please note this is a PhD student progress review presentation