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Microplastics – News and Features

Small plastic fragments.

Micro- and Nanoplastics in the Body Are Passed On During Cell Division

Micro- and nanoplastic particles remain in cells for much longer than previously thought, and can be passed from cell to cell during division, shows new research.
A copper-metal kettle whistling out steam on a gas stove

Concerned About Microplastics in Your Water? Consider Boiling It First

A new study has found that boiling water traps microplastic particles inside the limescale deposits that build up on a kettle’s inner surfaces, reducing a person's exposure to microplastics.
A woman folds laundry.

Washing Clothes Releases More Than Just Microplastics

Some of the supposed nanoplastics released during textile washing are not nanoplastics at all, but are actually clumps of water-insoluble oligomer molecules. The toxicity of these compounds is not known.
A collection of tyres.

New Method Detects Tire Toxins in Rivers

Scientists at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) have developed a robust method for detecting whether a toxic chemical used in car tyres is present in rivers, streams and lakes, and measuring its concentrations.
Plastic straws turn into smaller and smaller pieces.

Study Finds Microplastics in Every Human Placenta Tested

A new study has found microplastics in every human placenta the researchers tested, raising concern about the effect of environmental microplastics on human health.
A mug of tea.

From PFAS to Microplastics, What Might Be Leaking Out of Your Teabag?

Depending on the brand, your favorite cup of tea could be contaminated with billions of microplastics and/or traces of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Fish swimming in microplastics.

Scientists Develop Eco-Friendly “Magnet” To Battle Microplastics

A multi-college study will help rid waters of harmful plastics, resulting in a transformative pathway for decreasing pollution in the world’s aquatic ecosystem.
Fish swimming among microplastics.

Ocean Nanoplastics Identified for the First Time

Millions of tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year. The sun’s ultraviolet light and ocean turbulence break down these plastics into invisible nanoparticles that threaten marine ecosystems.
Tyres stacked on top of each other.

Microplastics From Tyres Are Threatening Aquatic Environments

A team of researchers, led by experts from the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth, has looked at the chronic toxicity of particles and chemical leachates found on a series of popular tyre brands.
Water runs into cupped hands.

Injectable Water Filtration System Could Improve Access to Clean Drinking Water

A new portable water filtration system easily decontaminates water from streams and rivers to improve access to clean drinking water in remote or underdeveloped regions.