First evidence of microplastics in nine lakes across Patagonia (South America)

María Belén Alfonso, Facundo Scordo, Carina Seitz, Gian Marco Mavo Manstretta, Ana Carolina Ronda, Andrés Hugo Arias, Juan Pablo Tomba, Leonel Ignacio Silva, Gerardo Miguel Eduardo Perillo, María Cintia Piccolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Microplastics (MPs) on lakes have been reported mainly from Europe, Asia, and North America. Then, this study aimed to address the quantification and identification of MPs in nine lakes from the Argentine Patagonian Region. Blue colored fibers were dominant, with a size range between 0.2 and <0.4 mm. The mean MPs concentration was 0.9 ± 0.6 MPs m−3, suggesting a low pollution state when compared to other worldwide lakes. Raman microscopy analysis showed a predominance of Indigo Blue Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) particles. The upper-gradient runoff from urban settlements, textiles, and fisheries were identified as the main MPs sources and levels positively correlated with the higher area, shallower depth, and with an end-position in the watershed. These findings fill a gap in the geographical distribution knowledge, setting a baseline that emphasizes the need for better treatment of urban and fisheries wastes in continental lakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139385
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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