Pollution of Beach Sand from Selected Recreational Reservoirs by Microplastics
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Faculty of Infrastructure and Environment, Department of Sanitary Networks and Installations, Czestochowa University of Technology
Online publication date: 2023-01-05
Publication date: 2022-12-01
Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports 2022;32(4):230–241
The presence of microplastics have been ubiquitously confirmed in aquatic environment possessing the potential risk to the health of ecosystem. Most studies concerning microplastics are focused on water bodies, but it is considered that sediments and sands from the beaches may to be a long-term sink for microplastics. High concentrations of microplastics have been found in sand beach in Europe and all over the world. In the present studies samples of beach sand originating from three beaches of recreational reservoirs in Southern Poland (Silesian Voivodship) were analysed. Preliminary screening tests were done to evaluate the degree of microplastics pollution of the selected sandy beaches. Samples were taken once from three places on the beaches of each reservoir. Beach sections parallel to the waterline were selected at each study at the swash zone – about 1 m above the waterline. Previously, no studies were done on the presence of microplastics in these beaches. The samples taken from the beach were homogenized and mixed with saturated NaCl solutions, after separation of microplastics the pollutants were counted under optical microscope (under magnification 40 -100 x). It was found that in all three places the microplastics occurred in the beach sand samples. The most contaminated samples originated from Lisiniec recreation park (Adriatyk) which contained 340 ± 222 particles per kg/d.m. The most abundant fractions in the examined samples were fibres and fragments, the less abundant ones were granules. It can be concluded that recreational reservoirs beaches can be significantly contaminated by microplastics particles, but simultaneously the concentrations of these micropollutants can vary a lot between the individual places.
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