Research: Micro- and nanoplastic – from rivers to whales
For her PhD thesis at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) Ellen Besseling studied the effects of microplastic and nanoplastic particles in aquatic life. She studied the direct effects of the plastic and the role it plays as a carrier of polluting chemicals. She found that the concentrations of pollution in the water are already so high that transport by plastics does not contribute any significant risks anymore.
However, the plastic particles are not risk-free; in the presence of nanoplastics, the growth of algae is slowed and water fleas are less numerous, smaller and exhibit deformities. However, to achieve these effects high concentrations are required (News Item WUR, 16 April 2018).
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