Oysters and clams from pieces & # 39; pristine & # 39; coastline containing microplastics

Microplastics end up in oysters and clams – after being washed off sportswear.

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Researchers found 11 microplastic pieces per oyster and nine per bivalve shellfish on pieces of coast known for their & # 39; pristine & # 39; waters.

The research showed that invasive microfilaments are thrown into the sea from yoga pants, fleece jackets and sweat-removing clothing at a speed of up to 700,000 per wash.

Portland State University co-author Britta Baechler said: & # 39; Those particles then travel through gray water to wastewater and to the coast. & # 39;

Environmental experts found microplastics at every location and in all but two of the approximately 300 sampled organisms, including oysters and cockles (strain)

Pollution is often blamed on fishing and oyster farmers, whose abandoned fishing gear can be a source of microfiber.

SOME PARTS OF THE OCEAN HAVE MORE PLASTIC THAN FISH

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A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published today has shown that some parts of the ocean contain seven times as much plastic as juvenile fish.

Young fish swallow huge amounts of small plastic particles internationally on & # 39; surface slicks & # 39; float around the world.

Hawaii was one of the worst tested by the team that discovered it had eight times as many plastic densities as recently found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The majority of the plastics in surface slicks were very small (less than 1 mm). Larval fish prefer their prey this size.

After dissecting hundreds of larval fish, the researchers discovered that many fish species ingested plastic particles.

Dr. Jonathan Whitney, a marine ecologist for NOAA and co-leader of the study, said: & # 39; We were shocked when we discovered that so many of our samples were dominated by plastic. & # 39;

Research published in the Proceedings journal of the National Academy of Sciences.

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But researchers said there was & # 39; no scientific consensus & # 39; was for that belief.

Miss Baechler, a PhD student, added: “It's not because people don't manage our fish stocks well or are unclean in their practices.

& # 39; We all use plastic on a daily basis. We are all the source of contamination in our seafood.

& # 39; And microplastics aren't just in our seafood. We know that they are in our beer, in our salt, in our drinking water. & # 39;

The team collected samples of Pacific oysters and razors from 15 locations along the Oregon coastline, in the northwestern US, in the spring and summer of 2017.

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They wanted to explain microplastic concentrations in the organisms, which are an important part of Oregon's economy and maritime culture.

Environmental experts found microplastics at every location and in all but two of the approximately 300 sampled organisms.

Study co-author Professor Elise Granek, also from Portland State University, said: “Whether it was a fairly urban site or a rural site, estuary or open-coast beach, both species had microplastics.

& # 39; Although we consider the Oregon coast a much pristine coastline compared to California, Puget Sound or the Eastern Seaboard, when we talk about microplastics, we still see that human footprint even on our cleaner coastline. & # 39;

Microplastics - small plastic particles less than five millimeters are imaged under a microscope

Microplastics - small plastic particles less than five millimeters are imaged under a microscope

Earlier this year, the WHO investigated the possible health effects of exposure to microplastics (shown on this file photo) via drinking water
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Earlier this year, the WHO investigated the possible health effects of exposure to microplastics (shown on this file photo) via drinking water

Microplastics – small plastic particles less than five millimeters are imaged under a microscope

Microplastics (shown in this file photo) have made headlines in recent years because they have been detected in seawater, wastewater, fresh water, food, air and drinking water, both bottled water and tap water.

Microplastics (shown in this file photo) have made headlines in recent years because they have been detected in seawater, wastewater, fresh water, food, air and drinking water, both bottled water and tap water.

Microplastics (shown in this file photo) have made headlines in recent years because they have been detected in seawater, wastewater, fresh water, food, air and drinking water, both bottled water and tap water.

There were more microplastics in the spring oysters than in the summer, which the researchers say may be due to rainfall and clothing that is usually worn in the cooler season.

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The researchers said that more work is now needed to understand how microplastics affect organisms and the people who consume them.

Other studies have shown that microplastics can cause reproductive and growth retardation on oysters and cockles.

The research showed that invasive microfilaments are thrown into the sea from yoga pants, fleece jackets and sweat-removing clothing at speeds of up to 700,000 per wash

Miss Baechler added: & # 39; If reproduction or growth is affected, it can affect not only individual mussels or oysters, but possibly also the local populations of these organisms. & # 39;

Engineers now design filters to attach to washing machines. But researchers say that it is unclear whether they can prevent micro fibers from entering the sea or that the general public could pay for them.

The study was published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters.

Microplastics enter the waterways in various ways and end up in suspension in the liquid. They can be transported over long distances both by water and by air and taken to the farthest corners of the world

Microplastics enter the waterways in various ways and end up in suspension in the liquid. They can be transported over long distances both by water and by air and taken to the farthest corners of the world

Microplastics enter the waterways in various ways and end up in suspension in the liquid. They can be transported over long distances both by water and by air and taken to the farthest corners of the world

WHICH FURTHER RESEARCH IS NEEDED TO ASSESS THE SPREAD AND IMPACT OF MICROPLASTIC?

The report & # 39; Microplastics in Drinking Water & # 39; of the World Health Organization 2019, numerous areas for future research that shed light on how far the problem of microplastic pollution has spread, how it can affect human health and what can be done to prevent these particles from entering our water resources.

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How widespread are microplastics?

The following research would clarify the occurrence of microplastics in drinking water and freshwater sources:

  • More data is needed on the occurrence of microplastics in drinking water in order to adequately assess people's exposure to drinking water.
  • Microplastics prevention studies should use quality-conscious methods to determine the number, shape, size and composition of the particles found. They must identify whether the microplastics come from the freshwater environment or from the extraction, treatment, distribution or bottling of drinking water. In the first instance, this research should focus on drinking water that is thought to be most at risk of particle contamination.
  • Drinking water studies would be usefully supplemented with better data on fresh water that can be used to quantify freshwater imports and to identify the main sources. This may require the development of reliable methods to track origin and identify sources.
  • A set of standard methods is required for sampling and analyzing microplastics in drinking water and fresh water.
  • There is a considerable knowledge gap in the understanding of nanoplastics in the aquatic environment. A first step to close this gap is to develop standard methods for sampling and analysis of nanoplastics.

What are the health implications of microplastics?

Although water treatment can be effective in removing particles, there are limited data that are specific to microplastics. To support risk assessment and human health management options, the following gaps in water treatment data need to be addressed:

  • More research is needed to gain insight into the fate of microplastics in various wastewater and drinking water treatment processes (such as purification processes and oxidation) under various operational conditions, including an optimal and sub-optimal effect and the influence of particle size, shape and chemical composition on removal efficacy .
  • There is a need for a better understanding of the composition of the particle composition before and after water treatment, also in distribution systems. The role of microplastic degradation and wear in water treatment systems, as well as the microplastic contribution of the processes themselves must be considered.
  • More knowledge is needed to gain insight into the presence and removal of nanoplastic particles in water and wastewater treatment processes as soon as standard methods for nanoplastics are available.
  • There is a need for a better understanding of the relationships between turbidity (and particle numbers) and microplastic concentrations during treatment processes.
  • Research is needed to understand the importance of the possible return of microplastics to the environment from sludge and other waste streams from treatment.

To gain a better understanding of microplastics-associated biofilms and their significance, the following research could be conducted:

  • Further studies can be conducted on the factors that influence the composition and potential specificity of microplastically associated biofilms.
  • Studies could also consider the factors that influence biofilm formation on plastic surfaces, including microplastics, and how these factors vary for different plastic materials, and which organisms more often bind to plastic surfaces in freshwater systems.
  • Research could be done to better understand the capacity of microplastics to transport pathogenic bacteria downstream for longer distances, the rate of degradation in freshwater systems and the relative amount and transport capacity of microplastics compared to other particles.
  • Research could consider the risk of horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes into microorganisms in plastispheres compared to other biofilms, such as those found in WWTPs.
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Can water treatment ensure that microplastics do not end up in our water supply?

Although water treatment can be effective in removing particles, there are limited data that are specific to microplastics. To support risk assessment and human health management options, the following gaps in water treatment data need to be addressed:

  • More research is needed to gain insight into the fate of microplastics in various wastewater and drinking water treatment processes (such as purification processes and oxidation) under various operational conditions, including an optimal and sub-optimal effect and the influence of particle size, shape and chemical composition on removal efficacy .
  • There is a need for a better understanding of the composition of the particle composition before and after water treatment, also in distribution systems. The role of microplastic degradation and wear in water treatment systems, as well as the microplastic contribution of the processes themselves must be considered.
  • More knowledge is needed to gain insight into the presence and removal of nanoplastic particles in water and wastewater treatment processes as soon as standard methods for nanoplastics are available.
  • There is a need for a better understanding of the relationships between turbidity (and particle numbers) and microplastic concentrations during treatment processes.
  • Research is needed to understand the importance of the possible return of microplastics to the environment from sludge and other waste streams from treatment.

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