High concentration of plastic in Kodungaiyur groundwater, finds study

A new study by researchers from the University of Madras has found a high concentration of microplastics in groundwater in and around the Kodungaiyur dump yard.

Published: 18th June 2019 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2019 01:19 PM   |  A+A-

Kodungaiyur dump yard in Perambur Assembly constituency

Kodungaiyur dump yard in Perambur Assembly constituency | D SAMPATH KUMAR

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A new study has found a high concentration of microplastics in groundwater in and around the Kodungaiyur dump yard.  The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Madras, says one of the major reasons for the problem is the rampant drilling of bore wells.

Researchers from Climate and Environmental Research Group (CERG) at the varsity studied drinking water samples collected within 10 km radius of the dump yard in Kodungaiyur, one of the largest in the city, maintained by the Corporation. They collected samples from 35 places around the dump yard and found surprisingly high concentration of microplastics. 

Researchers say that in some samples, the concentration of microplastics was as high as 22 particles per 150 ml, while the acceptable levels are 2 particles per litre. “The numbers are a matter of grave concern,” says M Jayaprakash, professor of Applied Geology at the University of Madras.  “It shows how polluted our groundwater has become.”

Microplastics are minute particles of plastic measuring less than 5mm. They are of grave health and environment concern. Earlier studies by Anna University found the presence of microplastics in water samples collected for reservoirs around Chennai.

Jayaprakash says microplastics absorb persistent organic pollutants (POPs) — organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation — that can be transferred to animal tissues. The study says digging of bore wells has caused the leakage of plastics, accumulated in the dump yard, into water.

Cause of pollution

“We found that areas which have more bore wells have a higher concentration of microplastics. Contamination from the petrochemical factory also accounts for pollution,” said Jayaprakash.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp