Microplastics pollution in salt pans from the Maheshkhali Channel, Bangladesh

Md Refat Jahan Rakib, Sultan Al Nahian, María B. Alfonso, Mayeen Uddin Khandaker, Christian Ebere Enyoh, Fauziah Shahul Hamid, Abdullah Alsubaie, Abdulraheem S.A. Almalki, D. A. Bradley, Hamidreza Mohafez, Mohammad Aminul Islam

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Microplastics (MP) were recognized as an emergent pollution problem due to their ubiquitous nature and bioaccumulative potential. Those present in salt for consumption could represent a human exposure route through dietary uptake. The current study, conducted in Bangladesh, reports microplastics contamination in coarse salt prepared for human consumption. Sea salt samples were collected from eight representative salt pans located in the country's largest salt farming area, in the Maheshkhali Channel, along the Bay of Bengal. Microplastics were detected in all samples, with mean concentrations ranging from 78 ± 9.33 to 137 ± 21.70 particles kg−1, mostly white and ranging in size from 500–1000 µm. The prevalent types were: fragments (48%) > films (22%) > fibers (15%) > granules and lines (both 9%). Fourier transform mid-IR and near-IR spectra (FT-MIR-NIR) analysis registered terephthalate (48%), polypropylene (20%), polyethylene (17%), and polystyrene (15%) in all samples. These results contribute to the MP's pollution knowledge in sea salts to understand and reduce this significant human exposure route and environmental pollution source in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23187
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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