Microplastics in the marine environment of St. Mary's Island: implications for human health and conservation

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microplastics have now been identified as a class of emerging pollutants and is considered as a threat to aquatic organisms. This baseline paper investigated the distribution, composition, and potential ecological risks of microplastic (MP) pollution on St. Mary's Island, revealing an average abundance of 0.218 particles/L in water samples. Blue fibres and white foams were the primary MPs identified, and fishing activities and packaging were the main sources of pollution. Six types of polymers were identified: low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polystyrene (PS), polyamide (PA), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The Polymer Hazard Index (PHI) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (PERI) indicated a medium environmental risk for the island. Additionally, it was discovered that MPs' surfaces contained dangerous substances that could endanger aquatic life. The research emphasizes the significance of implementing measures such as responsible disposal, management, elimination, regulatory policies, and local administration techniques to mitigate the impact of MP pollution on the island's shores and marine biota. This research provides a baseline for monitoring MP contamination and underscores the need for continuous investigation to assess their impacts on marine life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1034
Pages (from-to)1034
Number of pages1
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 12-08-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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