Occurrence of microplastics and phthalate esters in urban runoff: A focus on the Persian Gulf coastline

Shamim Hajiouni, Azam Mohammadi, Bahman Ramavandi, Hossein Arfaeinia, Gabriel E. De-la-Torre, Agnes Tekle-Röttering, Sina Dobaradaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Urban runoff seems an obvious pathway for the transfer of microplastics (MPs) and phthalate acid esters (PAEs) from land-based sources to the marine environment; an issue that still lacks attention. This study presents the first results on MP and PAE levels in the urban runoff into the northern part of the Persian Gulf during the dry season. Average concentrations of MPs and PAEs in the urban runoff of eight selected sampling sites (N = 72) along the Bushehr coast were 1.86 items/L and 53.57 μg/L, respectively. MPs with a size range of 500-1000 μm had the highest abundance, and the mean levels of PAEs in MPs were 99.77 μg/g. The results of this study show that urban runoff is a main source of MP and PAE contaminants that are discharged into the Persian Gulf. Therefore, to decrease these pollutants from entering the aquatic environment, decision-makers in the area should consider this problem and stop the direct discharging of urban runoff into water bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150559
Pages (from-to)150559
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue numberPt 1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bushehr
  • Contamination
  • MPs
  • PAEs
  • Risk assessment


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