Currently, microplastics are dispersed everywhere; from our oceans to our rivers, sediments, organisms, air, and even food resources. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the degree of contamination present in the Portuguese traditional table salts depending on their origin and type of salt. Fourteen samples were selected: seven from fleur de sel and seven from coarse salts, corresponding to seven distinct regions of the Portuguese territory. The concentration of microplastics, depending on salts’ origin, ranged between 595 and 5090 MPs/kg, in sea salt, and in Rio Maior’s well salt it varied from 3325 to 6430 MPs/kg. By salt type, the concentration of microplastics in the fleur de sel was 2320–6430 MPs/kg and in the coarse salt was 595–3985 MPs/kg. In the analyzed table salt, the most abundant anthropogenic particles were fibers (64%) and fragments (35%). The most predominant colors were transparent, blue, and black. The concentration of microplastics did not vary significantly (p > 0.05) between fleur de sel samples within different regions. However, statistically significant differences were found between coarse salt samples from the various regions. The results, gathered from this study, demonstrate the high contamination within artisanal Portuguese table salts, thus, becoming crucial to develop more future research, leading to a better understanding of the health risks associated with salt consumption.
Part of the book: Inland Waters