A first assessment of microplastic contamination in the snow of Ankara, Turkey

Babaei P., Nikravan A., Meral A., Kibar B., GÜLLÜ G.

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol.30, no.47, pp.103690-103702, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 47
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-023-29594-3
  • Journal Name: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.103690-103702
  • Keywords: Atmosphere, Deposition, Microplastics, Snow
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Microplastics (MPs), affecting aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, have spread globally. The atmosphere is known as a pollutant acceptor and carrier among other ecosystems. However, the fate and amount of microplastics in the atmosphere have been the subject of less research. Therefore, it is quite important to study the amount and properties of microplastics in atmospheric fallout. The main purpose of this article is to discover microplastics in fresh snow samples collected in three different regions of Ankara and to identify potential sources of supply. The morphologies and compositions of microplastics were analyzed and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS). μ-Raman spectroscopy was used to reveal the various polymer types of the selected samples. As a result, microplastics were found in all snow samples. Among the nine snow samples examined, 537 particles were recognized as MPs. The average abundance of MPs in snow samples was 59.66 items L−1. Fibers, fragments, films, and circular forms were found in all snow samples. Fragments predominated for all samples (50.08%), followed by films (28.54%), fibers (16.86%), and circulars (4.50%). The proportion of small plastics was quite high when compared to the large plastics captured by snow. Smaller MP particles found in the snow had more variety, suggesting that the microplastics in the snow samples have been broken down by long-range transport and deposition. Six different polymer types were discovered in the snow samples in this study. The most frequently identified polymer was polyethylene (31%), succedded by polystyrene (28%), and polypropylene (21%). Polyethylene terephthalate (12%), polyvinyl chloride (5%), and nylon were present in smaller proportions.