2022 JRS Webinar (1) | Microplastics in Asian Freshwater Environments
2022 JRS Sustainability Webinar Series (1)
Microplastics in Asian Freshwater Environments
u Speakers u
Dr Sarva Mangala Praveena
Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Dr Alexander Kunz
Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
u Chair u
Dr Falk Schneider
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University
u About the Webinar u
Microplastics are of great environmental concern as they can release and adsorb toxic chemicals, harm aquatic life, and contaminate the food-chain. While it was estimated that rivers in Asia contain the highest amounts of plastic pollution worldwide, only recently studies emerged examining microplastics in Asian freshwater environments. Within those studies there is a large variety of applied methodologies including various freshwater compartments and geographical scope, but a comprehensive overview of those efforts is still missing. To identify microplastics hotspots in Asian freshwater systems, a systematic literature review was conducted in March 2022 as part of a SATU joint research project. This webinar will provide brief insights from the 230 Asian microplastics studies that were published since 2014.
As examples, two studies will be presented in detail. The first study investigated floating microplastics particles in an urban river in Taichung, Taiwan, finding microplastics concentrations of 0 to 0.18 pcs/m³ in mountain areas and up to 169.46 pcs/m³ in urban centers. Based on spatial distribution patterns, the study identified untreated water from storm sewers as major contributor for river pollution. In the second study microplastics in aquaculture products in Selangor, Malaysia, was examined. Microplastics were present in all samples, but the highest abundance was detected in red Nile tilapia (64 pcs/fish). The particles mainly occurred as polypropylene or nylon in irregular shapes, which possibly originated from aquaculture structures used at the sites. Questions about Asian microplastics studies and the two studies will be answered during a Q/A session, which concludes the webinar.