NIO study reveals presence of microplastics in tap water supplied to households in Goa

Panaji, Aug 11 (PTI) A recent research by the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has found the presence of microplastics in tap water supplied to households in Goa, an official said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference here, principal scientist of CSIR-NIO Dr Mahua Saha said microplastics were found in tap water drawn from Margao, Panaji, Mapusa, Canacona and Marcel, spread over both North and South Goa districts.

The research by the CSIR-NIO and Delhi-based NGO Toxics Link was conducted on pre-treatment raw water and treated tap water, sourced from reservoirs at Selaulim, Opa, Assonora and Canacona in the coastal state, associate director of the NGO Satish Sinha said.

The study was initially meant to be conducted across various cities in India last year, but was restricted only to Goa due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown, it was stated.

Micro-plastics were found in the tap water drawn from various places in Goa, including Margao, Panaji, Mapusa, Canacona and Marcel, said Saha, who headed the research.

The major characteristics of microplastics found in tap water were similar to those found in pre and post-treated water samples, with black and blue colour ones, made of polyisoprene (used in rubber, footwear etc), ethylene vinyl alcohol (used in packaging, drugs and cosmetics) and polyvinyl chloride (pipes) polymer, she said.

The increased presence of microplastics in tap water can be attributed to abrasion of plastic particles, Saha said.

Household pipes in the tap water distribution system in India are mainly made of plastic or cast iron. Hence, corrosion of plastic pipes might have taken place between the water treatment plants and outlets, adding microplastics to the treated water, the scientist said, adding that hazard levels of microplastics has not been established as yet. PTI