Posts tagged with

microplastics

Plastic, Pollution, and Human Health

Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 17:38
By Alexis Thorbecke, Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program

Marine debris comes in all shapes and size, from large abandoned vessels and nets weighing multiple tons, down to tiny fibers from a cigarette butt. Some of the tiniest debris may be causing some big problems. Microplastics, or plastic pieces less than 5mm in size, are persistent and pervasive. Clothing and fishing nets can shed microfibers, which can be a type a microplastic. Cosmetics can contain tiny plastic beads that get washed down our drains and into our waterways. Large pieces of plastic can be beaten by the sun and waves until they fragment into a collection of microplastics. But, what happens when these miniscule microplastics end up in our bodies?

Microplastics on National Park Beaches alyssa.dillon Fri, 06/30/2017 - 19:29

Microplastics are plastic pieces measuring less than five millimeters in size and in recent decades, there have been many studies that indicate a strong presence of this type of debris in marine and coastal environments.

Microplastics can come from a variety of sources. Some microplastics are manufactured at that small size as microbeads, found in products like toothpaste and facial scrubs, or pellets, which are used to make larger plastic items. Microfibers, another type of microplastic debris, come from synthetic items such as rope or clothing (like fleece).

In Florida, Rallying Citizen Scientists to Place an Ocean-Sized Problem Under the Microscope

Posted Thu, 06/30/2016 - 18:22
This week, we’re exploring the problem of plastics in our ocean and the solutions that are making a difference. To learn more about #OceanPlastics this week, keep your eye on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog, and, of course, here.

Have you ever looked under a microscope at what’s in a sample of ocean water? What do you think you would find?

These days, chances are you would spot tiny bits of plastic known as microplastics, which are less than 5 millimeters long (about the size of a sesame seed).

The Florida Microplastic Awareness Project is giving people the opportunity to glimpse into Florida’s waters and see a microscopic world of plastic pollution up close. This project integrates citizen science—when volunteers contribute to scientific research—with education about microplastics.