Hidden problems in geological heritage sites: The microplastic issue on Saint Mary's Island, India, Southeast Arabian Sea

Rizwan Khaleel, Gokul Valsan, Nelson Rangel-Buitrago, Anish Kumar Warrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microplastics (MPs) have become a dominant constituent of several oceanic islands. This study focuses on the occurrence and distribution of MPs present in the beach sediments of Saint Mary's Island (SMI), a geological heritage site located in the south-eastern part of the Arabian Sea. The average (standard deviation) abundance of MPs on this island was 97.18 (80.49) particles/kg. Attenuated total reflectance—Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy revealed that MPs are composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyamide (PA). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) highlighted the presence of Cr, As, Pb, and Cd (harmful pollutants) on MP surfaces. The MPs in the SMI are largely contributed by the nearby fishing harbour, touristic beaches and estuaries. The results of this study, act as a starting point for continuous environmental monitoring in this unique region of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114043
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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