The authors of the study "When Good Intentions Go Bad – False Positive Microplastic Detection Caused by Disposable Gloves", which is published by Environmental Science & Technology and can be consulted for a fee at ACS Publications, write that the detection of ubiquitous microplastics represents an analytical challenge. During sampling, sample preparation and finally during analysis, a high risk exists of sample contamination. This study investigates the potential of sample contamination or misinterpretation due to substances associated with disposable laboratory gloves or reagents used during sample preparation. To do this, the authors analyzed the leachates from ten different types of disposable gloves and found polyethylene (PE) in nearly all of them. It was apparently stearates and fatty acids that were falsely identified as polyethylene with conventional analysis methods. Equally, the sodium dodecyl sulfate frequently used as a detergent substance in microplastic research for specimen preparation may be confused with PE and thus lead to a considerable overestimate of the amount of PE.
To the publication: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c03742
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