Contamination in our waterways, soil, air, and drinking water from microplastics is gaining significant public interest due largely to its emergence as an environmental threat. Researchers are now working towards standardized analytical solutions to best characterize these small particles in terms of chemical identity, size, shape, and total mass.
Organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration define a microplastic as any particle of a plastic polymer that is less than 5 mm in size. However, it is smaller microplastic particles, less than 100 μm in size, that are often of the most interest. They are not visible to the naked eye and can make their way into the food chain.