Microplastic ingestion of blood cockles (Tegillarca granosa) in Kuala Juru, Pulau Pinang

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Ratnam Sh., Mohd Zanuri N . B .


The marine plastic pollution is growing drastically all around the world yet the association of the discarded plastics with the marine organisms are poorly studied. This study is focused on the ingestion of microplastic in Blood Cockles (Tegillarca granosa) collected from Kuala Juru, Pulau Pinang. The aim of this study is to quantify the abundance of microplastic and to identify the type of microplastic found in the blood cockles. Total 50 blood cockles (Tegillarca granosa) were sampled along with surface water (n=5), bottom water (n=5) and sediment (n=5) for this study. Overall, 295 pieces of microplastics were found in blood cockles with an average of 5.9 (±0.62) microplastics in each blood cockle. The number of microplastics found in surface water, bottom water and the sediment was 134, 175 and 109 respectively. The microplastics were observed under MDSI-40X dissecting stereomicroscope and then analysed in SEM-EDX to confirm the presence of microplastic. The presence chemical components such as Carbon, Oxygen, Chlorine and Silicone in the sample analysed in the SEM-EDX affirms the occurrence of the microplastic. This study has uncovered the presence of microplastic in blood cockles and in the surrounding environment of blood cockles that is water and sediment. Since blood cockles are commonly consumed seafood in Malaysia, the contamination of microplastics is posing a threat to seafood safety and jeopardise human health due the potential toxicity of the microplastic.

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