Microplastics and Tire Wear Particles in Urban Stormwater: Abundance, Characteristics, and Potential Mitigation Strategies

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Ziajahromi, Shima
Lu, Hsuan-Cheng
Drapper, Darren
Hornbuckle, Andy
Leusch, Frederic DL
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2023
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Abstract

Stormwater has been identified as a pathway for microplastics (MPs), including tire wear particles (TWPs), into aquatic habitats. Our knowledge of the abundance of MPs in urban stormwater and potential strategies to control MPs in stormwater is still limited. In this study, stormwater samples were collected from microlitter capture devices (inlet and outlet) during rain events. Sediment samples were collected from the material captured in the device and from the inlet and outlet of a constructed stormwater wetland. MP (>25 μm) concentration in stormwater varied across different locations ranging from 3.8 to 59 MPs/L in raw and 1.8 to 32 MPs/L in treated stormwater, demonstrating a decrease after passage through the device (35–88% removal). TWPs comprised ∼95% of all particles, followed by polypropylene (PP) and poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). The concentration of TWPs ranged from 2.5 to 58 TWPs/L and 1450 to 4740 TWPs/kg in stormwater and sediment, respectively. A higher abundance of MPs was found in the sediment at the inlet of the constructed wetland compared to the outlet, indicating a potential role of wetlands in removing MPs from stormwater. These findings suggest that both constructed wetlands and microlitter capture devices can mitigate the transport of MPs from stormwater to the receiving waterways.

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Environmental Science & Technology

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This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science & Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c03949

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advanced online version.

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Pollution and contamination

Ecology

Environmental assessment and monitoring

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Ziajahromi, S; Lu, H-C; Drapper, D; Hornbuckle, A; Leusch, FDL, Microplastics and Tire Wear Particles in Urban Stormwater: Abundance, Characteristics, and Potential Mitigation Strategies, Environmental Science & Technology, 2023

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