Current Microplastics News and Events

Current Microplastics News and Events, Microplastics News Articles.
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Protective ship coatings as an underestimated source of microplastic pollution
Shipping traffic can be a major source of microplastics, especially out in the open ocean. In a new study, a team of environmental geochemists from the University of Oldenburg (Germany) for the first time provides an overview of microplastics mass distribution in the North Sea. The scientists found that most of the plastic particles in water samples taken in the south-eastern North Sea originate from binders used in marine paints. Their hypothesis is that ships leave a kind of 'skid mark' in the water. (2021-02-23)

Plastic recycling results in rare metals being found in children's toys and food packaging
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a range of new and used products - including children's toys, office equipment and cosmetic containers - and found they contained quantities of rare earth elements. (2021-02-17)

Method for temporal monitoring of microplastic sedimentation
Researchers in Finland have tested the sediment trap method to analyse the annual accumulation rates of microplastics in a body of water, and possible seasonal variation therein. The most important advantage of the method is that it can be used to determine the time it takes from microplastics to enter and accumulate in bodies of water. (2021-02-15)

Facts on the ground: How microplastics in the soil contribute to environmental pollution
Plastic is a major threat to the environment. Of particular ecological risk is its manifestation as microplastics (<5 mm in size) in the agricultural environment. Scientists from Korea addressed this issue in their latest study, looking into the levels, shapes, and sizes of microplastics in Korean agricultural soils. They reported new insights on the agricultural sources of microplastics, contributing to a better understanding on their role in environmental pollution. (2021-02-11)

Links between pollution and cancer in wild animals: what can we learn?
This recent review combines the information available on cancer occurrences in aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Cancer is one of the pollution-induced diseases that should be at the centre of attention in ecological and evolutionary research. Authors suggest physiological mechanisms that link pollution and cancer, determine which types of aquatic animals are more vulnerable to pollution-induced cancer, which types of pollution are mainly associated with cancer in aquatic ecosystems, and which types of cancer pollution causes. (2021-02-10)

Tourism mainly responsible for marine litter on Mediterranean beaches
A study by the ICTA-UAB warns that tourism generates 80% of the marine litter accumulating on the beaches of the Mediterranean islands in summer. For researchers, the global COVID19 pandemic may be an opportunity to rethink the model of sustainable tourism. (2021-02-08)

Are plastics and microplastics in the Ocean on the increase?
A cohort of high-profile co-authors posed this question in a study recently published in the Microplastics and Nanoplastics journal. (2021-02-01)

Litter provides habitat for diverse animal communities in rivers, study finds
In a study of local rivers, experts at the University of Nottingham in the UK have discovered more invertebrates - animals without a backbone, such as insects and snails - living on litter than on rocks. (2021-01-25)

Dramatic increase in microplastics in seagrass soil since the 1970s
Large-scale production of vegetables and fruit in Spain with intensive plastic consumption in its greenhouse industry is believed to have leaked microplastic contaminants since the 1970s into the surrounding Mediterranean seagrass beds. This is shown in a new study where researchers have succeeded in tracing plastic pollution since the 1930s and 1940s by analyzing seagrass sediments. (2021-01-25)

Combined river flows could send up to 3 billion microplastics a day into the Bay of Bengal
New research shows the Ganges River - with the combined flows of the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers - could be responsible for up to 3 billion microplastic particles entering the Bay of Bengal every day. (2021-01-22)

Eliminating microplastics in wastewater directly at the source
A research team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has developed a process for the electrolytic treatment of wastewater that degrades microplastics at the source. The results of this research have been published in the Environmental Pollution journal. (2021-01-18)

Posidonia marine seagrass can catch and remove plastics from the sea
Posidonia oceanica seagrass -an endemic marine phanerogam with an important ecological role in the marine environment- can take and remove plastic materials that have been left at the sea, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The article's first author is the tenure-track 2 lecturer Anna Sànchez-Vidal, from the Research Group on Marine Geosciences of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB). (2021-01-14)

Novel method reveals small microplastics throughout Japan's subtropical ocean
Samples taken from the ocean surrounding the subtropical island of Okinawa have revealed the presence of microplastics in all six areas surveyed, finds new study. (2020-12-24)

Highest levels of microplastics found in molluscs, new study says
Mussels, oysters and scallops have the highest levels of microplastic contamination among seafood, a new study reveals. (2020-12-23)

Plastic is blowing in the wind
The discovery of microplastics in the air above the ocean reveals the spread of this hazardous pollution. (2020-12-23)

The most consumed species of mussels contain microplastics all around the world
''If you eat mussels, you eat microplastics.'' This was already known to a limited extent about mussels from individual ocean regions. A new study by the University of Bayreuth reveals that this claim holds true globally. (2020-12-17)

Drinking water significant source of microplastics in human diet
In an effort to understand the potential risks associated with exposure to micro/nanoplastics, the?Emerging Risks of Micro/nanoplastics: Perspectives From Diverse Sectors symposia at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting, December 13-17, 2020,?aims to highlight the current state of knowledge associated with physical and chemical transformation, hazard characterization, environmental effects, social implications and policy limitations.? (2020-12-17)

Marine pollution: How do plastic additives dilute in water and how risky are they?
New research by scientists from Korea shows that additives in plastic materials deployed or thrown in coastal environments diffuse into the environment at different rates. Their findings demonstrate how assessments of exposure risk based on the composition of the source plastic waste will be inaccurate, because this composition varies as plastics break down and additives dilute into the environment at different rates. A new evaluation method is needed, and these scientists have just the solution! (2020-12-14)

Natural environmental conditions facilitate the uptake of microplastics into living cells
The environment is polluted by microplastics worldwide. A research team at the University of Bayreuth has now discovered that microplastic particles find their way into living cells more easily if they were exposed to natural aquatic environments, i.e. fresh water and seawater. Biomolecules occurring in the water are deposited on the microplastic surfaces, which promote the internalization of the particles into cells. (2020-12-10)

Weathered microplastic particles, readily internalized by mouse cells, may pose a greater risk than pristine ones
Microplastic particles exposed to freshwater or saltwater environments for several weeks are about 10 times more likely than pristine particles to be absorbed by mouse cells, due to a crust of microorganisms and biomolecules that forms on the particles' surfaces, according to a new study. The results indicate that this crust acts as a biomolecular 'Trojan horse.' (2020-12-09)

Chemical derived from car tires turns streams toxic, kills coho salmon
For Pacific Northwest coho salmon, returning to spawn in the streams and creeks near urban areas can be a death sentence, thanks to a ubiquitous additive in vehicle tires, a new study reveals. (2020-12-03)

Even razor clams on sparsely populated Olympic Coast can't escape plastics, study finds
Portland State University researchers and their collaborators at the Quinault Indian Nation and Oregon State University found microplastics in Pacific razor clams on Washington's sparsely populated Olympic Coast -- proof, they say, that even in more remote regions, coastal organisms can't escape plastic contamination. (2020-11-30)

Sustainable regenerated isotropic wood
A high-performance sustainable regenerated isotropic wood (RGI-wood) is reported, constructed from surface nanocrystallized wood particles (SNWP) by efficient bottom-up strategy. The obtained RGI-wood exceeds the limitation of the anisotropic, inconsistent mechanical properties, and inflammability of natural wood. Mass production of large-sized RGI-wood was achieved, overcoming the rareness of large-sized natural wood. Through this strategy, a series of functional RGI-wood nanocomposites can also be prepared, which show great potential in diverse applications. (2020-11-30)

Sheep show the contamination by microplastics in the agricultural soils of Murcia
A team from the Diverfarming project has found microplastics in 92% of the faeces of sheep fed in intensive agricultural zones of Murcia that they analysed (2020-11-25)

Chia, goji & co. -- BfR consumer monitor special superfoods
Chia seeds, goji berries or quinoa -- 48% of the population see so-called 'superfoods' as part of a health-conscious diet. This is shown by a recent representative survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). (2020-11-25)

There are microplastics near the top of Mount Everest too
Researchers analyzing snow and stream samples from the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition have found evidence of microplastic pollution on Mount Everest. While the highest concentrations of microplastics were around Base Camp where hikers and trekkers spend the most time, the team also found microplastics as high up as 8,440 meters above sea level, just below the summit. The findings appear November 20 in the journal One Earth. (2020-11-20)

Microplastics in the death zone
Researchers from the University of Plymouth's International Marine Litter Research Unit have identified the highest recorded microplastics ever found on Earth - at an altitude of more than 8,000 metres, close to the summit of Mount Everest. (2020-11-20)

Plastic pollution is everywhere. Study reveals how it travels
A study reveals the mechanism by which microplastics, like Styrofoam, and particulate pollutants are carried long distances through soil and other porous media, with implications for preventing the spread and accumulation of contaminants in food and water sources. (2020-11-13)

Plastics and rising CO2 levels could pose combined threat to marine environment
An international team of scientists found that after three weeks of being submerged in the ocean, the bacterial diversity on plastic bottles was twice as great as on samples collected from the surrounding seawater (2020-11-06)

Leaf-cutter bees as plastic recyclers? Not a good idea, say scientists
Scientists have noted instances of leaf-cutter bees using plastic waste to construct their nests and one research group suggested such behavior could be an 'ecologically adaptive trait' and beneficial recycling effort. Utah State University scientist Joseph Wilson says no; such behavior is harmful to the bee's offspring. (2020-11-03)

Microplastics in groundwater (and our drinking water) present unknown risk
Microplastics (plastics <5mm) and their negative health impacts have been studied in oceans, rivers, and even soils, and scientists are beginning to grapple with the myriad human health impacts their presence might have. One understudied, but critical, link in the cycle is groundwater, which is often a source of drinking water. (2020-10-26)

War on plastic is distracting from more urgent threats to environment, experts warn
A team of leading environmental experts, spearheaded by the University of Nottingham, have warned that the current war on plastic is detracting from the bigger threats to the environment. (2020-10-23)

Marine biology -- Sponges as biomonitors of micropollution
Sponges are filter feeders that live on particulate matter -- but they can also ingest microscopic fragments of plastics and other pollutants of anthropogenic origin. They can therefore serve as useful bioindicators of the health of marine ecosystems. (2020-10-23)

Population currently sees coronavirus as the greatest health risk
The coronavirus is currently the population's main concern. More than a quarter of consumers perceive the virus as the greatest health risk. This is a finding of the most recent edition of the Consumer Monitor, a representative population survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). (2020-10-20)

High levels of microplastics released from infant feeding bottles during formula prep
New research shows that high levels of microplastics (MPs) are released from infant-feeding bottles (IFBs) during formula preparation. The research also indicates a strong relationship between heat and MP release, such that warmer liquids (formula or water used to sterilise bottles) result in far greater release of MPs. The work underlines the need for appropriate mitigation strategies and new plastic technologies. (2020-10-19)

Glitter litter could be damaging rivers - study
New research indicates that glitter could be causing ecological damage to our rivers and lakes. (2020-10-14)

Laundry lint can cause significant tissue damage within marine mussels
Research by the University of Plymouth showed that ingesting lint caused significant abnormality within the mussels' gills, as well as atrophy or deformities leading to loss of definition in digestive tubules (2020-10-02)

Amazon study shows big conservation gains possible for imperilled freshwater ecosystems
A new study by an international team of environmental scientists in the Brazilian Amazon shows that redesigned conservation projects could deliver big gains for critical freshwater ecosystems - raising hopes for the futures of thousands of species. (2020-10-01)

Scientists sound alarm on plastic pollution
A new study shows that despite global commitments to address plastic pollution, growth in plastic waste, or 'plastics emissions' continues to outpace reduction. What's more, the study shows that even if governments around the world adhere to their ambitious commitments to curb plastic pollution, annual plastic emissions may increase more than six-fold by 2030. (2020-09-17)

The persistence of plastic
The amount of synthetic microfiber we shed into our waterways has been of great concern over the last few years, and for good reason: Every laundry cycle releases in its wastewater tens of thousands of tiny, near-invisible plastic fibers whose persistence and accumulation can affect aquatic habitats and food systems, and ultimately our own bodies in ways we have yet to discover. (2020-09-16)

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