An affordable methodology for quantifying waterborne microplastics - an emerging contaminant in inland-waters

Methodology for quantifying microplastics

  • Christian Dunn | c.dunn@bangor.ac.uk School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • Jedd Owens School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • Luke Fears School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • Laura Nunnerley School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • Julian Kirby Friends of the Earth, The Printworks, London, United Kingdom.
  • Oliver L. Armstrong School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • P. John Thomas School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • Dan Aberg School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • William Gilder School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.
  • Dannielle Green School of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • Rachael Antwis School of Environment and Life Sciences, Salford University, Salford, United Kingdom.
  • Chris Freeman School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Gwynedd, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The occurrence of microplastics in marine habitats is well documented and of growing concern. The presence of these small (<5 mm) pieces of plastic is less well recorded in inland water systems. In this paper, we determine a cost-efficient and straightforward method for the collection and identification of microplastics in UK inland waters. We found pieces of microplastic from all sample sites ranging from over 1000 L-1 in the River Tame, to 2.4 L-1 in Loch Lomond. The presence of microplastics in all waters tested suggest it should now be classed as an emergent contaminant, with routine monitoring required.

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Published
2019-11-13
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Issue
Section
Short Communication
Edited By
Gianluca Corno, CNR-IRSA Verbania, Italy
Keywords:
microplastics, emergent contaminant, fluorescence microscopy, plastic pollution, water monitoring
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How to Cite
1.
Dunn C, Owens J, Fears L, Nunnerley L, Kirby J, Armstrong OL, Thomas PJ, Aberg D, Gilder W, Green D, Antwis R, Freeman C. An affordable methodology for quantifying waterborne microplastics - an emerging contaminant in inland-waters: Methodology for quantifying microplastics. J Limnol [Internet]. 2019Nov.13 [cited 2020Nov.27];79(1). Available from: https://jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/jlimnol.2019.1943