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Article

Microplastic Contamination of Surface Water-Sourced Tap Water in Hong Kong—A Preliminary Study

1
Department of Science and Environmental Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po 999077, Hong Kong SAR, China
2
Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin 999077, Hong Kong SAR, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103463
Received: 13 April 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 17 May 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastics; plastic fibres; tap water; Rose Bengal microplastics; plastic fibres; tap water; Rose Bengal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lam, T.W.L.; Ho, H.T.; Ma, A.T.H.; Fok, L. Microplastic Contamination of Surface Water-Sourced Tap Water in Hong Kong—A Preliminary Study. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3463. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103463

AMA Style

Lam TWL, Ho HT, Ma ATH, Fok L. Microplastic Contamination of Surface Water-Sourced Tap Water in Hong Kong—A Preliminary Study. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(10):3463. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103463

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lam, Theresa Wing Ling, Hiu Tung Ho, Anson T.H. Ma, and Lincoln Fok. 2020. "Microplastic Contamination of Surface Water-Sourced Tap Water in Hong Kong—A Preliminary Study" Applied Sciences 10, no. 10: 3463. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103463

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