Metro Vancouver tackles microplastics in wastewaterMetro Vancouver tackles microplastics in wastewater<div class="ExternalClassFE17FEBB54B64ECF9E31050B3C8EA0A3"><p>Metro Vancouver has partnered with the <strong>Ocean Wise Conservation Association</strong>, which is part of the Vancouver Aquarium, to determine the amount of microplastics coming to its wastewater treatment plants and how much is removed by treatment.</p><p>Microplastics are small pieces of plastics that range in size from one nanometer to five millimetres and come from a variety of sources. This could include microbeads used in personal care products or industrial abrasive applications, or may be formed by the breakdown of larger plastic products.</p><p>Wastewater containing microplastic beads, as well as fibers in laundry water from materials such as fleece, are treated and released into the environment where aquatic animals may mistake these small pieces of plastics for food, which could affect their ability to survive and grow. The use of microplastic beads in personal care products has been recently banned in many countries, including Canada.</p><p>Metro Vancouver is working with the <strong>Ocean Wise’s</strong> Dr. Peter Ross to develop reliable protocols to extract and analyze microplastics from wastewater and environmental samples, and to identify sources of plastic in a variety of samples using a sophisticated laboratory technique, Fourier Transform Infra Red spectrometry.</p><p>The first phase of the project resulted in a publication of the new analytical method in the scientific journal, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This technique will be used to understand the fate of microplastics throughout the wastewater treatment process and in the aquatic environment, which is one of the objectives of the already ongoing second phase of the project.</p><p>To understand the contribution of microplastics from textiles coming from washing machines into wastewater treatment plants, Dr. Ross is working with leading outdoor clothing companies such as Mountain Equipment Co-op while Metro Vancouver is hosting the laundry testing facility at the Annacis Research Centre.</p><p>The parallel investigation aims to characterize the microfiber released in laundry from selected fabrics as well as evaluate the efficacy of domestic lint traps to remove microfibres from washing machine effluent. The results of this work is expected to inform textile and product design, laundering best practices, regulations, wastewater engineering, and consumer education.</p></div>http://heimat-deutschland.info/metroupdate/PublishingImages/issue36-microplastics.jpg2017-10-30T07:00:00ZGP0|#86cebc24-450e-46cf-b0a6-2d37736f0596;L0|#086cebc24-450e-46cf-b0a6-2d37736f0596|Issue 36;GTSet|#d14ffe11-45dc-48fb-8684-ff109cf15a74<div class="ExternalClassE3CAF7C41D054DA2B2BCE6B5F8B6D638"><p>​Metro Vancouver has partnered with the Ocean Wise Conservation Association, which is part of the Vancouver Aquarium, to determine the amount of microplastics coming to its wastewater treatment plants and how much is removed by treatment. Microplastics are small pieces of plastics that range in size from one nanometer to five millimetres and come from a variety of sources, including microbeads used in personal care products.</p></div>0Examples of microplastics obtained from wastewater samples, from left to right: microplastic bead close-up and microplastic fibre close up (Photographs courtesy of Vancouver Aquarium)

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