MPC Research Specialist, Hauke Kite-Powell, has recently been appointed to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee to study U.S. contributions to global ocean plastic waste.
Evidence of pellet pollution has been piling up for decades. R. Jude Wilber of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution returned to the area and found that pellet concentrations had nearly doubled.
The study of marine microplastics is not new. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been conducting research and publishing on this subject since the 1970s. Other organizations have been active as well.
As the first state in the country to ban foam food containers, Maryland will be a “very good case study,” said Chris Reddy, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
An ocean technology company installed a particle sensor Tuesday in the Cape Cod Canal to monitor plankton and potential microplastics.
“We have an opportunity now, where there is public awareness,” said Mark Hahn, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “They (plastics) don’t belong there (in the ocean).”
“Studying microplastics is hard because [they are] not a single contaminant like lead or a uniform contaminant like PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls],” said NIEHS grantee Mark Hahn, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “It is a diverse and complex mixture of materials.”
The threat to human health is complex and poorly understood. “There are a lot more questions than answers at this point,” says Mark Hahn, a toxicologist at WHOI who studies microplastics.
A major component of ocean pollution is less devastating and more manageable than usually portrayed.
Researchers from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say that sunlight can break down polystyrene within a few decades.
Polystyrene, a common ocean pollutant, decomposes in sunlight much faster than thought, a new study finds.
Where are the sources of these microplastics? Well, as a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution video explains, some of the microplastics may be coming from larger plastic objects such as bottles and other households goods being ground up by the elements.