Microplastic contamination of surface water-sourced tap water in Hong Kong: A preliminary study

Theresa Wing Ling LAM, Hiu Tung HO, Anson T.H. MA, Lincoln FOK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Microplastics have been documented in a wide range of commercially available food products, and the presence of microplastics in tap water has received considerable attention in recent years. Although microplastics in drinking water pose a low concern for human health at current levels of exposure, there is a need to understand the potential pathways for human microplastic exposure. With the application of Rose Bengal staining, microplastics in 110 surface water-sourced tap water samples from urban sources in Hong Kong were qualified and morphologically characterized. A total of 224 items were identified in 86 (78.2%) samples with a mean concentration of 2.181 ± 0.165 n L⁻¹. Fibrous and smaller (<1 mm) microplastics predominated in samples, accounting for 97.8% and 65.1% of the total microplastic count, respectively. Our results indicated a comparatively low level of microplastic contamination of tap water in Hong Kong. The potential sources of microplastics could be microplastic-polluted water bodies, atmospheric input and mechanical abrasion of plastic equipment during water treatment and distribution. Copyright © 2020 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3463
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 May 2020

Citation

Lam, T. W. L., Ho, H. T., Ma, A. T. H., & Fok, L. (2020). Microplastic contamination of surface water-sourced tap water in Hong Kong: A preliminary study. Applied Sciences, 10(10). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103463

Keywords

  • Microplastics
  • Plastic fibres
  • Tap water
  • Rose Bengal

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microplastic contamination of surface water-sourced tap water in Hong Kong: A preliminary study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.