Assessment of Microplastics Distribution and Related Water Quality in an Urban Canal, Thailand

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, 10240, Thailand


Microplastics pollution has become a matter of global concern because of its effects on aquatic life and the ecosystem. This study investigated the abundance and types of microplastics found in an urban canal of Thailand. Water quality and the relationship between microplastics pollutants and the physicochemical properties of water quality were also analyzed to provide evidence for this study. The mean abundance of microplastics was 370 ± 140 particle(p)/m3. The highest number and concentration of microplastics were found on surface water corelated with urbanization. Transparent brown and transparent colors in the form of film and fiber/lines were the predominant morphology. Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) were the most abundant polymer type in all surface water samples. Furthermore, water quality was related with microplastic pollution. The physicochemical properties of turbidity (0.99), conductivity (0.97), total solid (0.95) and biological oxygen demand (0.84) were accounted for greatest influences on microplastics distribution. The estimated equation of microplastics was also closely corelated with water quality. These results demonstrate that microplastic pollution has progressed more in poor water quality than good water quality, indicating that the inflow process and sources of microplastics are similar to those of other pollutants. Therefore, this study is expected to encourage and enforce solid waste and wastewater management policies that prevent microplastics pollution in the environment. 


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