Abundance of microplastics in a river-estuary along a rural-urban gradient pathway
HANSEN MAEVE C. QUINDAO and J IAH G. SARGADO
Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus – Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PSHS WVC), Brgy. Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Philippines
Microplastics are rapidly accumulating in quantity. Exposure to microplastics can be a threat to ecosystems as mammals ingest 0.1 to 5 grams of microplastics per week. This study sought to determine the abundance of microplastics found along a rural-urban gradient in Iloilo River. Samples were gathered from five sites of differing parameters, treated to remove non-microplastic substances, and identified through a compound microscope. Results showed that the abundance along the river ranged between 1 to 4 particles per liter. The unmonitored rural sites had the highest abundance and the monitored urban sites had the lowest abundance. Additionally, most of the microplastics gathered were in the size range of 150 to 500 μm, transparent in color, and are film morphological type. Investigation of additional parameters like area usage may be needed to understand microplastic abundance patterns as there was no strong correlation between urbanization and microplastic abundance.
Keywords: microplastics, river, abundance, rural-urban, monitoring