Report on Microplastics Published by USGS

Published On: May 6, 2024By Categories: Groundwater Quality, Newsline

The U.S. Geological Survey published a report on May 2 on the critical topic of microplastics in the environment.

The report titled “Integrated Science for the Study of Microplastics in the Environment—A Strategic Science Vision for the U.S. Geological Survey” is available on the USGS website.

The report which covers microplastics and nanoplastics states “a myriad of environmental exposure pathways to humans including ingestion, inhalation, and bodily absorption, are likely to exist.” It adds there is growing evidence that bioaccumulation of microplastics in tissues and organs of humans can potentially lead to nutritional and reproductive effects.

Current science gaps are mentioned. The report says that “understanding if or when environmental exposures pose a health risk is complicated by the diversity of microplastic sizes, morphologies, polymer types, and chemicals added during manufacturing or sorbed from the environment; ongoing challenges in analytical methods used to detect, quantify, and characterize microplastics and associated chemicals in our ecosystems; and the fact that ecotoxicological studies regarding microplastics are still in their infancy.”

It also adds that a better understanding of the sources, pathways, fate, and biological effects of microplastics has become a priority of the federal government as well as some state governments.

Click here to read the USGS report.

One of the most cited Groundwater® papers in recent years is “Microplastic Contamination in Karst Groundwater Systems” by Samuel V. Panno et. al. NGWA members can view the complete paper on Wiley Online Library.

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