Preliminary results on microplastic pollution from agricultural soil in Vietnam: Distribution, characterization, and ecological risk assessment

Thi Oanh Doan, Thi Thuy Duong, Thi My Nguyen, Thi Quynh Hoang, Thanh Tam Luong, Phuong Thao Pham, Thi Thanh Nga Cao, Phuong Thu Le, Duc Hieu Phung, Thi Phuong Quynh Le, Thi Mai Anh Dang, Phuong Thuy Bui, Thanh Nghi Duong, Van Cuong Bui
Author affiliations


  • Thi Oanh Doan Faculty of Environment, Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thi Thuy Duong 1-Institute of Environmental Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam; 2-Graduate University of Science and Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thi My Nguyen Institute of Environmental Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thi Quynh Hoang Institute of Environmental Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thanh Tam Luong Faculty of Environment, Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Phuong Thao Pham Institute of Environmental Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thi Thanh Nga Cao 1-Graduate University of Science and Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam; 2-Institute of Human Geography, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Phuong Thu Le University of Science and Technology of Hanoi, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Duc Hieu Phung Institute of Chemistry, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thi Phuong Quynh Le Institute of Natural Product Chemistry, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thi Mai Anh Dang Institute of Environmental Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Phuong Thuy Bui Faculty of Environment, Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thanh Nghi Duong Institute for Tropical Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Van Cuong Bui Institute for Tropical Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam



Agricultural soil, ecological risk, farmland, microplastic, polymer


Microplastics (MPs) have been extensively studied in aquatic systems; however, their presence in general agricultural systems and in particular, soil still needs comprehensive understanding. This study conducted a field survey at 25 sites to investigate the abundance of MPs in agricultural soil. The MPs in these soil samples were separated using sieves and filters by the density separation method with NaCl solution (d = 1.2 g/cm3). The density of MPs in agricultural soils ranged from 1,700 items/kg to 38,800 items/kg, with an average of 11,716 ±10,726 items/kg. The black-colored MPs were found to be dominant, followed by white, purple, red, and blue. The fibers represented most of the MPs' shapes observed in this research (77.9±17.4%). MPs in agricultural soil samples were tiny particles with sizes of <1,000 µm and 1,000-2,000 µm. A significant difference was observed  in the concentration of MPs in locations near and far from residential areas and manufacturing facilities. The average concentration of MPs in the soils adjacent to the residential and manufacturing facilities and near the agricultural solid waste collection sites  was 21,471±12,729 items/kg and 20,188±4,403 items/kg, much higher than in distant these locations at 4,418±1,573 items/kg. These results suggest that domestic, industrial, and agricultural activities could contribute to MP pollution in agricultural soil. The ecological dangers MPs pose in terrestrial and aquatic environments have drawn much attention from the scientific community. This work represented the first effort to comprehend the ecological risk of MPs on selected samples of Vietnamese agricultural soil. According to the Pollution Load Index (PLI) values, most agricultural soil samples in this study were contaminated with MPs at hazard level IV. The potential ecological risk index (PERI) values of agricultural soil samples from nearby residential, industrial, or agricultural solid waste areas indicated a higher ecological risk.


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How to Cite

Oanh Doan, T., Thuy Duong, T., My Nguyen, T., Quynh Hoang, T., Tam Luong, T., Thao Pham, P., Thanh Nga Cao, T., Thu Le, P., Hieu Phung, H. P., Phuong Quynh Le, T., Mai Anh Dang, T., Thuy Bui, P., Nghi Duong, T., & Cuong Bui, V. (2023). Preliminary results on microplastic pollution from agricultural soil in Vietnam: Distribution, characterization, and ecological risk assessment. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences.