Wednesday June 22, 2022

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The evidence is mounting: Microplastic pollution is pretty much everywhere.

Studies around the world have found tiny plastic fibers and particles in rivers and lakes, in the ocean’s seafood, floating in the air above remote mountaintops and in freshly fallen snow in Antarctica.

Testing shows they’re making their way into our bodies, too. Scientists recently found microplastics in people’s lungs and blood.

Researchers at Portland State University want to know more about where microplastic pollution is coming from and how it’s getting into our air and water — right here in Oregon.

They recently launched a yearlong effort to track the sources of microplastics in the Columbia River Basin, a massive network of rivers and streams that covers much of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to sampling the air and water to identify the biggest sources of microplastic pollution, they’re working to build a network of people in government, industry and education who might help manage the problem.

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