Apr 28, 2020
Aquatic ecotoxicologist Marco Vighi is studying the
water cycle in agriculture and presence of plastics.
He shares vital information with listeners such has
Former professor and researcher
Marco Vighi works with the IMDEA Water
Institute studying acute aquatic toxicity and
ecology risk assessment. He's following the water cycle in
agriculture, from rivers to irrigation to agricultural application
and back to surface water.
He begins by explaining it is better to understand in general the origin of micro plastics and consider that nano plastics are the unknown—we don't know anything about their presence because we don't have the tools to measure them or know if they are crossing cell barriers.
He explains to listeners that
there are two types of micro plastics: first, ones that are
intentionally produced at a micro level for products like cosmetics
and toothpaste; and second, non-intentionally produced micro
plastics derived from the fragmentation of bigger plastics, from
synthetic clothing fibers, and from roadside products like tire
He adds that while regulations are in play for the first type, which is less concerning, there is little in the way to control the second type. He explains more about the technical aspects of how these plastics fragment, how ubiquitous they are, and additional struggles with understanding nano plastic activity.
For more information, he urges listeners to comb through information with care, learning what is accurate and what isn't. Finally, he says that packaging makes up the majority of harmful plastic and is a source that we can replace with alternate materials and must tackle.
For more about Marco Vighi, see https://www.water.imdea.org/about-us/people/researchers/marco-vighi.