Carleton professor finds high levels of microfibres in Ottawa River

In September, Carleton researchers found high levels of micro plastics after surveying 500 kilometres of the Ottawa River. In more recent studies, research shows that now plastic micro fibres that originate from fleece, athletic wear, and synthetic materials are the main problem. Jesse Vermaire, Carleton professor of environmental science and environmental studies who completed the research, said he narrowed the issue down to microfibres by counting the plastics that were retained in the filter under a microscope. “We were really surprised at how many were there and that we found them in every sample,” he said via email. Vermaire said the department is not sure how the microfibre got in the river in the first place, but a possibility is […]

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Natural health and beauty blog: Cleanse with oils, not microbeads

Tiny particles of plastic found in cosmetics might give you that “morning burst,” or make your skin feel softer, but they’re having a detrimental effect on marine ecosystems. Microbeads, or polyethylene, are found in soaps and toothpastes. They’re so small that they’re missed in the water filtration process and sent back into marine ecosystems. Some commercial products are up to 10 per cent microbeads.   Animals unintentionally consume or absorb the microbeads, which kills them when digestion is too difficult or impossible. In a study published by Marine Pollution Bulletin, 35 per cent of 670 fish examined had plastic inside of their stomachs from a collection of six different species.   While microbeads might benefit humans the first time around, once they’re washed down […]

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