Geochemical Characterization and Mineralogical Assemblage of Burhi-Dihing and Noa-Dihing – The Largest South Bank Tributaries of the Brahmaputra River

Author: Aparna Das, Sumi Handique, Monalisa Chaowlu and Manish Kumar
Year of Publication: 2018
Published: Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution 13(4): 13-24.

Abstract:
Mineralogical studies are valuable in understanding past weathering regimes induced by changing climatic conditions. Information about the bedrock lithology, weathering regimes, erosion and sedimentation rates are fundamental issues for better understanding of the river catchment behaviours. In this context, therefore, major ions, trace metals and clay mineral compositions of the sediment and water of Noa-Dihing and Burhi-Dihing rivers, the southbank tributaries of the Brahmaputra river, have been examined. Chemical index of alteration (CIA) values of both Noa-Dihing and Burhi-Dihing rivers suggests the prevalence of moderate chemical weathering events and formation of minerals such as muscovite, illite and smectite in the river catchment. Metal distribution in both rivers shows highly toxic metals, comprised of 32% of total mineral composition, and are less abundant with respect to moderately toxic metals (37%) except Zr, which comprises 37% and 32% respectively of the total mineral compositions. Comparison of sediment chemistry with composition of source rocks and average Upper Continental Crust (UCC) suggests higher depletion of CaO, Na2O, P2O5, Al2O3, SiO2, MgO and MnO signifying the dominance of mafic mineral phases. Loss of these metal oxides from the bed rocks during weathering and/or less abundance of clay in bed sediments compared to that in UCC may also be attributed to depleted values of these minerals. This is further substantiated by grain size analysis i.e. more abundance of sandy silt as compared to clay minerals in the overbank and channel sediments of Noa-Dihing and Burhi-Dihing rivers. Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) varies significantly from 64.49 to 81.21, indicating large spatial variability in the intensity of chemical weathering of upper Brahmaputra basin. Multivariate analysis suggests that natural weathering processes of alkaline earth metals can be associated with release of trace metals in a riverine system and releasing mechanism of transition metal and their oxides are same and that of alkali and alkaline earth metal are similar.

Keywords:
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Noa-Dihing, Burhi-Dihing, Grain size analysis, X-ray diffraction, Cluster analysis

Citation:
Das, A., Handique, S., Chaowlu, M., Kumar, M. (2016): Geochemical Characterization and Mineralogical Assemblage of Burhi-Dihing and Noa-Dihing—The Largest South Bank Tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution 13(4): 13-24.

Link:
https://content.iospress.com/articles/asian-journal-of-water-environment-and-pollution/ajw160034

Fate of microplastics in wastewater treatment plants and their environmental dispersion with effluent and sludge

Author: Carlos Edo, Miguel González-Pleiter, Francisco Leganés, Francisca Fernández-Piñas and Roberto Rosal
Year of Publication: 2020
Published: Environmental Pollution

Abstract:
This work studied the occurrence of microplastics in primary and secondary effluents and mixed sludge of a WWTP as well as in processed heat-dried sludge marketed as soil amendment. Sampled microparticles were divided into fragments and fibres, the latter defined as those with cylindrical shape and length to diameter ratio >3. We showed the presence of 12 different anthropogenic polymers or groups of polymers with a predominance of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester and acrylic fibres together with an important amount of manufactured natural fibres. The smaller sampled fraction, in the 25–104 μm range, was the largest in both primary and secondary effluents. Fibres displayed lower sizes than fragments and represented less than one third of the anthropogenic particles sampled in effluents but up to 84% of heat-dried sludge. The plant showed a high efficiency (>90%) in removing microplastics from wastewater. However, the amount of anthropogenic plastics debris in the 25 μm – 50 mm range still released with the effluent amounted to 12.8 ± 6.3 particles/L, representing 300 million plastic debris per day and an approximate load of microplastics of 350 particles/m3 in the receiving Henares River. WWTP mixed sludge contained 183 ± 84 particles/g while heat-dried sludge bore 165 ± 37 particles/g. The sludge of the WWTP sampled in this work, would disseminate 8 × 1011 plastic particles per year if improperly managed. The agricultural use of sludge as soil amendment in the area of Madrid could spread up to 1013 microplastic particles in agricultural soils per year.

Keywords:
Microplastics, wastewater treatment plants, sewage sludge, wastewater effluent, removal efficiency

Citation:
Edo, C., González-Pleiter, M., Leganés, F:, Fernández-Piñas, F., Rosal, R. (2020): Fate of microplastics in wastewater treatment plants and their environmental dispersion with effluent and sludge. Environmental Pollution.

Link:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113837

Secondary nanoplastics released from a biodegradable microplastic severely impact freshwater environments

Author: Miguel González-Pleiter, Miguel Tamayo-Belda, Gerardo Pulido-Reyes, Georgiana Amariei, Francisco Leganés, Roberto Rosal and Francisca Fernández-Piñas
Year of Publication: 2019
Published: Environmental Science: Nano

Abstract:
Over the last five decades, plastics production has increased as a consequence of their use in strategic sectors causing damage on aquatic ecosystems. In this context, biodegradable plastics have emerged as an ecological alternative because they are easily degradable in the environment. Despite the recent advances in the field of plastic ecotoxicology, the ecological impact of secondary nanoplastics (nanoplastics resulting from natural degradation of micro and macro plastics) in the environment remains poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the effects of secondary nanoplastics of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a biodegradable plastic, on three representative organisms of aquatic ecosystems. Secondary PHB-nanoplastics were produced from PHB-microplastics by abiotic degradation under environmentally representative conditions. Secondary PHB-nanoplastics induced a significant decrease in cellular growth and altered relevant physiological parameters in all organisms. We investigated whether the observed toxicity was exerted by PHB-nanoplastics themselves or by other abiotic degradation products released from PHB-microplastics. An experiment was run in which PHB-nanoplastics were removed by ultrafiltration; the resulting supernatant was not toxic to the organisms, ruling out the presence of toxic chemicals in the PHB-microplastics. In addition, we have performed a complete physicochemical characterization confirming the presence of secondary PHB-nanoplastics in the 75–200 nm range. All results put together indicated that secondary PHB-nanoplastics released as a consequence of abiotic degradation of PHB-microplastics were harmful for the tested organisms, suggesting that biodegradable plastic does not mean safe for the environment in the case of PHB.

Keywords:
Nanoplastic, biodegradable microplastic, freshwater environments

Citation:
González-Pleiter, M., Tamayo-Belda, M., Pulido-Reyes, G., Amariei, G., Leganés, F., Rosal, R., Fernández-Piñas, F. (2020): Secondary nanoplastics released from a biodegradable microplastic severely impact freshwater environments. Environmental Science: Nano 2019 (6): 1382 – 1392

Link:
https://doi.org/10.1039/c8en01427b

Occurrence and identification of microplastics along a beach in the Biosphere Reserve of Lanzarote

Author: Carlos Edo, Miguel Tamayo-Belda, Sergio Martínez-Campos, Keila Martín-Betancor, Miguel González-Pleiter, Gerardo Pulido-Reyes, Carmen García-Ruiza, Félix Zapata, Francisco Leganés, Francisca Fernández-Piñas and Roberto Rosal
Year of Publication: 2019
Published: Marine Pollution Bulletin

Abstract:
This work studied the accumulation of plastic debris in a remote beach located in La Graciosa island (Chinijo archipelago, Canary Islands). Microplastics were sampled in the 1–5 mm mesh opening range. An average plastic density of 36.3 g/m² was obtained with a large variability along the 90 m of the beach (from 8.5 g/m² to 103.4 g/m²). Microplastic particles preferentially accumulated in the part of the beach protected by rocks. A total number of 9149 plastic particles were collected, recorded and measured, 87% of which corresponded to fragments. Clear colours and microscopic evidence of weathering corresponded to aged plastics wind-driven by the surface Canary Current. The chemical composition of plastics particles corresponded to PE (63%), PP (32%) and PS (3%). Higher PE/PP ratios were recorded in the more protected parts of the beach, suggesting preferential accumulation of more aged fragments.

Keywords:
Marine debris, marine pollution, microplastics, FTIR, Raman

Citation:
Edo, C., Tamayo-Belda, M., Martínez-Campos, D., Martín-Betancor, K., González-Pleiter, M., Pulido-Reyes, G., García-Ruiza, C., Zapata, F., Leganés, F., Fernández-Piñas, F., Rosal, R. (2019): Occurrence and identification of microplastics along a beach in the Biosphere Reserve of Lanzarote. Marine Pollution Bulletin 143:220–227

Link:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.04.061

Environmental variables and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage in the headwater streams of an Afro-tropical reservoir

Author: Emmanuel O. Akindele and Godwin O. Olutona
Year of Publication: 2015
Published: Water and Environment Journal 29(4): 541-548.

Abstract:
The assemblage of benthic macroinvertebrates in relation to some selected environmental variables of the two headwater streams of Aiba Reservoir was studied from May 2013 to March 2014. This was with a view to assessing the health status and water quality of the streams, and comparing their taxa richness with similar studies on the reservoir and its out‐flowing stream. A total of 23 taxa were recorded in the study. and showed indirect relationships (P < 0.05) with bioindicators of good water quality, while dissolved oxygen (DO) showed indirect relationship (P < 0.05) with bioindicators of poor water quality. The streams were of poor biological water quality, and diversity indices revealed that they were polluted and unstable in habitat structure. Anthropogenic impacts at the upper reaches need to be mitigated and regular biomonitoring of the streams is of the essence, in order to conserve the integrity of the downstream reservoir.

Keywords:
Biodiversity, Conservation, Environmental variables, Headwaters, Macroinvertebrates, Reservoir, Stream, Water quality

Citation:
Akindele, E.O., Olutona, G.O., 2015. Environmental variables and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage in the headwater streams of an Afro-tropical reservoir. Water and Environment Journal 29(4): 541-548.

Link:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/wej.12117

Marine debris surveys at Bird Island, South Georgia 1990-1995

Author: Tony R. Walker, Keith Reid, John P.Y. Arnould, John P. Croxall
Year of Publication: 2017
Published: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 34(1): 61-65

Abstract:
The Antarctic marine environment has relatively few direct sources of man-made marine debris; however, there is concern over the dangers posed to wildlife by increasing amounts of such debris. Between 1990 and 1995 beached debris was monitored at Bird Island, South Georgia. This was part of a programme developed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to monitor compliance with waste disposal under MARPOL and the effectiveness of additional regulations to reduce entanglement of marine mammals and birds. Overall, and in all but one year, the highest incidence of debris occurred during the winter months when 75% of all items were collected. The most numerous category overall (76%), and in all samples since 1991, was pieces of synthetic line as used in the long-line fishery for the Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides around South Georgia. Packaging bands (6%) and polythene bags (6%) were the next commonest items. There was a substantial increase in the number of items found ashore in 1995 which coincided with an apparent increase in the long-line fishing effort in the area. The increase in the incidence of synthetic line found ashore corresponds to the increase in the proportion of Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella entangled in this material at South Georgia in a parallel study. An increasing use of environmentally-aware scientific observers on all fishing vessels, leading to an increased awareness of existing legislation, should result in less man-made debris entering the marine environment in the area around South Georgia.

Keywords:
Marine debris, South Georgia, long-line fishery, Synthetic line, Packaging bands, CCAMLR

Citation:
Walker, T.R., Reid, K., Arnould, J.P.Y., Croxall, J.P. (1997) Marine debris surveys at Bird Island, South Georgia 1990-1995. Marine Pollution Bulletin 34(1): 61-65.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X96000537

Accumulation of marine debris on an intertidal beach in an urban park (Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia)

Author: Tony R. Walker, Jon Grant, Marie-Claude Archambault
Year of Publication: 2006
Published: Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 41(3): 256-262

Abstract:
This study evaluated monthly accumulation rates and types of marine debris washed ashore at a recreational beach in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax Harbour, between April and September 2005. Black Rock Beach is 70 m long and a total of 2129 marine debris items were collected and sorted, representing a mean accumulation rate of 355 (±68 SE) items month-1. The total weight of debris items was only 10.8 kg (mean 2 kg ±0.4 SE), however eighty-six percent of this debris was plastic material. The types of litter found included: tampon applicators, condoms (i.e., sewage-related debris [SRD]); plastic fast food packaging, confectionary wrappers, Styrofoam fragments, plastic bottles and caps, items of clothing, soft drink cans, cigarettes and cigarette holders (i.e., recreational or land-based debris); packing bands, nylon rope and nets (i.e., shipping- or fishing-related debris). These items were generated by recreational use of the park (52%), sewage disposal (14%) and from shipping and fishing activities (7%). It is suggested that a significant reduction in marine debris at recreational beaches may arise by improving public awareness of the environmental and aesthetic impacts of marine litter and future improvements to the municipal sewage disposal system.

Keywords:
Nova Scotia, Marine debris, Plastic debris, Sewage disposal, Public beaches

Citation:
Walker, T.R., Grant, J., Archambault, M-C., 2006. Accumulation of marine debris on an intertidal beach in an urban park (Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia). Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 41(3): 256-262.

Link:
https://iwaponline.com/wqrj/article-abstract/41/3/256/39831

A Canadian policy framework to mitigate plastic marine pollution

Author: Shauna Pettipas, Meagan Bernier, Tony R. Walker
Year of Publication: 2016
Published: Marine Policy 68: 117-122

Abstract:
Marine pollution from plastic debris is a global problem causing negative impacts in the marine environment. Plastic marine debris as a contaminant is increasing, especially in Canada. While the impacts of macroplastics are well known in the literature, there are relatively few policy studies related to mitigating microplastic toxicity in the environment. Despite overwhelming evidence of the threat of plastic in the marine environment, there remains inadequate or limited policies to address their mitigation, particularly microplastic debris. Existing policies for waste management, marine debris monitoring and awareness campaigns were evaluated from other jurisdictions. Policies and recommendations were developed for the Canadian context. Recommendations include improved practices for: (1) law and waste management strategies; (2) education, outreach and awareness; (3) source identification; and (4) increased monitoring and further research.

Keywords:
Plastic marine debris, Macro- and microplastic pollution, Waste management, Monitoring, Mitigation

Citation:
Pettipas, S., Bernier, M., Walker, T.R., 2016. A Canadian policy framework to mitigate plastic marine pollution. Marine Policy 68: 117-122. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.02.025.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16300665

International policies to reduce plastic marine pollution from single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads): A review

Author: Dirk Xanthos, Tony R. Walker
Year of Publication: 2017
Published: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 118(1-2): 17-26

Abstract:
Marine plastic pollution has been a growing concern for decades. Single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads) are a significant source of this pollution. Although research outlining environmental, social, and economic impacts of marine plastic pollution is growing, few studies have examined policy and legislative tools to reduce plastic pollution, particularly single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads). This paper reviews current international market-based strategies and policies to reduce plastic bags and microbeads. While policies to reduce microbeads began in 2014, interventions for plastic bags began much earlier in 1991. However, few studies have documented or measured the effectiveness of these reduction strategies. Recommendations to further reduce single-use plastic marine pollution include: (i) research to evaluate effectiveness of bans and levies to ensure policies are having positive impacts on marine environments; and (ii) education and outreach to reduce consumption of plastic bags and microbeads at source.

Keywords:
Single-use plastics, Microbeads, Plastic bags, Policies, Plastic marine pollution

Citation:
Xanthos, D., Walker, T.R., 2017. International policies to reduce plastic marine pollution from single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads): A review. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 118(1-2): 17-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.02.048.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17301650