Paint Particles: an Overlooked Component of Microplastics


Photo: VNIRO

Scientists at the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO) have updated data on the distribution of microplastics.

The specialists analysed water samples during the regular expedition onboard the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh research vessel. High concentrations of microplastics were not found. However, the scientists did find paint particles. These particles originate from ship coatings, and their concentration was many times higher than the concentration of plastic in some areas.

The result suggests that paint particles [from ship coatings] contribute significantly to pollution in the Arctic Ocean, especially if we take into account that the paint used for the underwater parts of the ship prevents biological fouling and contains toxic cadmium, lead and zinc, head of the expedition said.

The scientists will continue their research.