Risk assessment of microplastic pollution in an industrial region of Bangladesh

Heliyon. 2023 Jul 4;9(7):e17949. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17949. eCollection 2023 Jul.


Despite the high potential for microplastics (MPs) pollution in Bangladesh, the presence of MPs in the industrial region has largely been unexplored in Bangladesh. So, this study was conducted to determine whether MP pollution is prevalent in the industrial soil of Bangladesh and the extent of its toxicity. To examine MPs, a total of 12 soil samples were collected from the industrial region of Narayanganj, and a stereoscopic microscope was used to visually identify the MPs. Prior to that the technique of density separation and sieving was applied to extract MPs from those 12 soil samples. Among the twelve investigated samples, a total of 151 MPs (Mean: 12.6 ± 7.9 particles kg-1) were identified, which were mostly white and ranged in size from 0.5 to 1 mm. Different types of MPs according to their shapes such as fibers (60.3%), fragments (19.2%), films (10.6%), and foam (9.9%) have been detected. 7 MPs (Mean: 0.58 ± 0.79) have been found in 3 urban farmland sites, 15 MPs (Mean: 1.87 ± 1.81) in two near metropolitan areas, and 129 MPs (Mean: 4.6 ± 4.39) in 7 industrial locations. Five polymers were identified by μ-FTIR, among which Polyamide predominated, followed by Polypropylene. According to risk assessments, the region falls under hazard categories II and III, suggesting a moderate to high risk. This paper gives thorough information on the toxicity of MP in an industrial location; therefore, it may be useful in the development of effective methods to address environmental issues.

Keywords: Agricultural land; Bangladesh; Industrial region; Microplastics; Narayanganj; Terrestrial soil.