The long-distance transport potential of toxic lead (Pb) by plastic marine debris was examined by pure water leaching experiments using plastic fishery floats containing high level of additive-Pb such as 5100 ± 74.3 mg kg-1. The leaching of Pb ended after sequential 480-h leaching experiments, and the total leaching amount is equivalent to approximately 0.1% of total Pb in a float. But it recovered when the float was scratched using sandpaper. We propose that a "low-Pb layer," in which Pb concentration is negligibly small, be generated on the float surface by the initial leaching process. Thickness of the layer is estimated at 2.5 ± 1.2 μm, much shallower than flaws on floats scratched by sandpaper and floats littering beaches. The result suggests that the low-Pb layer is broken by physical abrasion when floats are washed ashore, and that Pb inside the floats can thereafter leach into beaches.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science