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MICROPLASTICS IN ASHTAMUDI LAKE



  May 27, 2024

MICROPLASTICS IN ASHTAMUDI LAKE



WHAT ARE MICROPLASTICS?

Microplastics are tiny plastic fragments less than five millimeters in length. They can originate from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller pieces or from microbeads found in personal care products.

HOW DID THEY ENTER ASHTAMUDI LAKE?

Microplastics enter water bodies through various sources, including:

- Runoff: From urban areas carrying plastic waste.

- Industrial Discharge: Waste from manufacturing processes.

- Improper Waste Disposal: Littering and inadequate waste management.

- Tourism and Recreational Activities: Plastics left behind by visitors.

KEY FINDINGS FROM THE STUDY

1. Presence in Aquatic Life:

- Fish: 19.6% of fish samples contained microplastics.

- Shellfish: 40.9% of shellfish samples were contaminated.

2. Types of Polymers:

- Common polymers found included nylon, polyurethane, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polysiloxane.

3. Hazardous Heavy Metals:

- Metals such as molybdenum, iron, and barium were detected, which can be harmful to both aquatic organisms and humans.

DANGERS OF MICROPLASTICS

- For Aquatic Life: Ingestion of microplastics can cause physical harm, hinder growth, and affect reproductive health.

- For Human Health: Consumption of contaminated fish and shellfish can introduce hazardous metals and polymers into the human body, leading to potential health issues such as toxicity and inflammation.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Continuous Monitoring: Regular assessment of microplastic levels in the lake to track pollution trends.

2. Public Awareness: Educating the public about the dangers of microplastic pollution and promoting responsible disposal practices.

3. Regulatory Measures: Implementing policies to control and reduce the entry of plastics into the lake.

4. Research and Innovation: Developing effective methods for removing microplastics from water bodies and exploring biodegradable alternatives to conventional plastics.

CONCLUSION

The study underscores the urgent need for strategies to mitigate microplastic pollution in Ashtamudi Lake. Immediate actions are required to protect both the ecosystem and public health from the adverse effects of microplastics.


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