Size and concentration comparison for microplastics between reported environmental levels and laboratory exposure studies

The figure compares MP concentration and sizes used in several relevant laboratory exposure experiments (see references) with a number of environmental concentrations from studies between 2004 to 2015. The sampled compartments include surface and subsurface waters in coastal and offshore regions.

Explanation: Exposure studies (fat coloured lines) and observed environmental levels (red diamonds: average concentrations; error bars: min and max concentration). The red line extrapolates the field data with best fit using a power law regression (y=3188⋅x-2.67, 95% confidence intervals as pale red areas). The dotted grey isolines show equal mass concentrations for particles density= 1.04 g⋅cm-3. The X-axis scale is the diameter of the micro beads in exposure experiments and the mesh size used in environmental studies, respectively.