CHEMISTRY AND ECOLOGY, vol.38, no.1, pp.1-16, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Increasing pollution of plastics smaller than 5 mm (microplastics [MPs]) in seas and oceans as well as in inland waters around the world has recently been a significant threat to water resources. In this study, MP pollution levels were investigated using a 335 mu m mesh manta trawl in November 2019 in Van Bay. Water samples were collected from 15 stations. MP particles ranged from 641424 to 1426638 per km(2) in surface waters (ranged from 2.35 to 5.09 MPs/m(3) in water columns). The most frequently observed MP type, size, shape and colour classes were fiber (40.5%), <0.1 mm (52.3%), irregular (40.8%) and blue (57.1%), respectively. The highest MP abundance was observed at 14 and 15 stations where lake current were effective. Station 6 were also under serious plastic pollution pressure beacuse it was located close to Akkopru and Kurubas Rivers that pass through the densely populated city center. The chemical structure of all examined MPs showed presence of polyethylene (60.2%), followed by polypropylene (20.4%), polyethylene terephthalate (17.2%) and poly(methyl acrylate) (2.2%). The MPs were also examined using scanning electron microscopy to understand the surface characteristics. In conclusion, our study revealed that the surface waters of Van Bay are highly contaminated with MPs.