Mount Allison University researches the impact of Microplastics in freshwater
Microplastics are very small pieces of plastics, less than five millimetres in size that are invisible to the eye but show up under the microscope. These microplastics are showing up in New Brunswick's' freshwater system and it is currently unclear what effect the material will have on aquaculture and humans. Research to study just that is underway at Mount Allison University (MtA).
The small particles can come from synthetic clothing, beauty products and essentially anything made of plastic. "They can be long stringy fibre bits, they can be small angular plastics, or they can be small micro beads," said Joshua Kurek, assistant professor of geography and environment at Mount Allison University.
To Dr Kurek's knowledge, this is the first time this study is being conducted on freshwater in New Brunswick. In keeping with similar work done in other provinces — for example, around the Great Lakes — Kurek said samples are taken near sewage treatment areas because they are thought to be a main source of microplastics.
The study is expected to be finished in April 2018.
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