Improving and evaluating methods of the analysis of microplastics from environmental samples
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The objective of this thesis was to improve the methodology in the studies of the microplastics (MPs) in the laboratory and from environmental samples. The main application for this purpose was by the use of a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) protocol and by the development of the standard reference materials (SRMs) for a range of MPs (beads, fibers, car tires) as a method validation which is the lack in many MPs studies. Experiments were created aimed at quantifying laboratory-based contamination sources and from environmental resources as water. The results in the studies of the lab-based contamination sources for MPs in the analytical laboratory, the analysis for the SRM and the application of QA/QC and validation of methods for MP in tap water revealed different outcomes. The results were also considered related to the own characteristics of the sample. However, in all studies was detected the presence of MPs, suggesting contamination in the samples. Despite the challenge of the study, due to the easy contamination, for example, from dust deposition in the laboratory atmosphere, the objectives of this work were achieved. This study demonstrated that the use of QA/QC protocol and the application of SRM should be included for a better method performance of MPs samples in order to provide valuable information to assess and to validate the measurement of MPs.
Master's thesis in Environmental engineering