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.
CitationLam, 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
- Plastic fibres
- Tap water
- Rose Bengal