, Praveena Sarva Mangala, Asmawi Melati Syahira, Chyi Josephine Liew Ying.

Microplastics emission via household washing machine has been reported as one of the microplastics sources. However, contribution of washing machine use to microplastics emission at the household level has been understood mostly in developed countries and still not completely understood in developing countries. In Malaysia, microplastics studies have reported involving sea water and river water despite the absence of studies relating to microplastics in grey water from household washing machine. This study aims to identify microplastics occurrence in household laundry water along with along with association between washing machine usage at household level. This cross sectional study was conducted involving 99 households from Klang Valley (Malaysia). Microplastics in laundry water samples were extracted via filtration method and identified in terms of size and morphology. Microplastics were found between 6.9E-3 g/m3 and 0.183 g/m3 in laundry water at household level. Microplastics shapes of fibre and fragment consist of polyester, nylon and acrylic with average length of 2258.59 μm were also identified in these laundry water samples. Morphology microplastics in grey water sample has indicated that the highest percentage was fibers (71%), followed by fibers and fragments(20%), mixture of fibers, fragments and pellet (9%). Questionnaire survey findings demonstrated fabric properties and washing parameters both likely contribute to microplastic emissions in laundry water and, ultimately, wastewater treatment plant influent. The impact of fabric properties and washing parameter factors on microplastics emission in laundry water at the household level merits further investigation. The findings of this study demonstrated the potential of laundry water as a microplastic source at the household level within a developing country.

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