Microplastic Contamination Analysis For Chennai Coastal Region

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Somasundaram Ramesh, Radhakrishnan Nagalakshmi

Abstract


Microplastic contamination in the Chennai coastal region is a growing concern due to the intake of abandoned garbage from various sources. This study aimed to assess the extent of microplastic contamination by analyzing microplastic trash collected from 25 spots along the Tamil Nadu coast, spanning a distance of 1076 kilometers. The results revealed that microplastic contamination was more prevalent during higher wave conditions compared to lower tides. Shorelines near riverbanks exhibited significantly higher quantities of microplastics than those affected by fisheries and tourist activities. The main types of microplastics found were polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene, with plastic shards comprising the majority of the trash (47-50%). Furthermore, analyses of fish species collected from shore regions showed that 10.1% of the fishes had consumed plastic particles. This emphasizes the potential risk of microplastics entering the marine food chain. The study highlights the need for microplastic filtering from estuaries, coastline waters, and other potential sources. In conclusion, microplastic contamination poses a serious hazard to the Chennai coastal region. Urgent measures are required to mitigate and reduce microplastic pollution, particularly near river openings, to protect the marine ecosystem and the food chain. Efforts should focus on preventing the entry of microplastics into the environment and promoting sustainable waste management practices to safeguard the coastal ecosystem.

Keywords


Coastline trash; Micro plastic; Marine environment; Aquatic ecosystem; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26789/AEB.2023.02.002
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Copyright (c) 2023 Somasundaram Ramesh, Radhakrishnan Nagalakshmi

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