Next Article in Journal
Lactational Transfer of Long-Chain Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids in Mice: A Method to Directly Collect Milk and Evaluate Chemical Transferability
Next Article in Special Issue
Occurrence of Microplastic Pollution at Oyster Reefs and Other Coastal Sites in the Mississippi Sound, USA: Impacts of Freshwater Inflows from Flooding
Previous Article in Journal
Neuropathological Mechanisms Associated with Pesticides in Alzheimer’s Disease
Previous Article in Special Issue
Microplastics Exposure Causes Negligible Effects on the Oxidative Response Enzymes Glutathione Reductase and Peroxidase in the Oligochaete Tubifex tubifex
Open AccessArticle

‘The Plastic Nile’: First Evidence of Microplastic Contamination in Fish from the Nile River (Cairo, Egypt)

1
Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University, Universitetsvej 1, P.O. Box 260, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2
Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, National Museum of Denmark, IC Modewegsvej Brede, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
3
Sky News International, Grant Way, Islwwroth, Middlesex TW7 5QD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxics 2020, 8(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8020022
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevalence, Fate and Effects of Plastic in Freshwater Environments)
The presence of microplastics (MPs) in the world’s longest river, the Nile River, has yet to be reported. This small-scale study aimed to provide the first information about MPs in the Nile River by sampling the digestive tracts of two fish species, the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, n = 29) and catfish (Bagrus bayad, n = 14). Fish were purchased from local sellers in Cairo, and then their gastrointestinal tracts were dissected and examined for MPs. Over 75% of the fish sampled contained MPs in their digestive tract (MP prevalence of 75.9% and 78.6% for Nile tilapia and catfish, respectively). The most abundant MP type was fibers (65%), the next most abundant type was films (26.5%), and the remaining MPs were fragments. Polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) were all non-destructively identified by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. A comparison with similar studies from marine and freshwater environments shows that this high level of MP ingestion is rarely found and that fish sampled from the Nile River in Cairo are potentially among the most in danger of consuming MPs worldwide. Further research needs to be conducted, but, in order to mitigate microplastic pollution in the Nile River, we must act now. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastics; freshwater; Africa; ingestion; Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus); catfish (Bagrus Bajad); fibers; ATR-FTIR spectroscopy microplastics; freshwater; Africa; ingestion; Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus); catfish (Bagrus Bajad); fibers; ATR-FTIR spectroscopy
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, F.R.; Shashoua, Y.; Crawford, A.; Drury, A.; Sheppard, K.; Stewart, K.; Sculthorp, T. ‘The Plastic Nile’: First Evidence of Microplastic Contamination in Fish from the Nile River (Cairo, Egypt). Toxics 2020, 8, 22.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop