Groundwater in karst aquifers constitutes about 25% of drinking water sources globally. Karst aquifers are open systems, susceptible to contamination by surface‐borne pollutants. In this study, springs and wells from two karst aquifers in Illinois, USA, were found to contain microplastics and other anthropogenic contaminants. All microplastics were fibers, with a maximum concentration of 15.2 particles/L. The presence of microplastic was consistent with other parameters, including phosphate, chloride and triclosan, suggesting septic effluent as a source. More studies are needed on microplastic sources, abundance, and impacts on karst ecosystems.
Panno, Samuel V.; Kelly, Walton R.; Scott, John; Zheng, Wei; McNeish, Rachel E.; Holm, Nancy; Hoellein, Timothy; and Baranski, Elizabeth L.. Microplastic Contamination in Karst Groundwater Systems. Groundwater, 57, 2: 189-196, 2019. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Biology: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12862
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