Detection and Identification of Microplastic Particles in Cosmetic Formulations Using IR Microscopy
2 November 2015

It is estimated that there is in excess of 150 million tons of plastic materials in the world’s oceans. Much of this pollution consists of large items such as discarded drink bottles and plastic bags. However, there is increasing research into the amount of much smaller materials, termed microplastics, in the river and ocean systems which present a different type of problem for marine life. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is the established technique for identifying polymer materials and has been used extensively for identifying large (over 100 micrometer) polymer materials. For microplastics, down to a few micrometers in size, an IR microscope can be used for the detection and identification of these materials. This application note demonstrates the detection of these microplastics using an IR microscope.