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Micropastics Research on Cayuga Lake

Contributed by Cheryl Gunther on 02/13/19 

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Ecotoxicologist, Dr. Susan Allen-Gil, at Ithaca College and Lab Director, Dr. Jose Lozano, at the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility are currently leading efforts to study microplastics in Cayuga Lake. They want to know about the type, location, and density of microplastics. While the microbeads federal ban is a step in the right direction, there are other sources of microplastics we need to be aware of. There is much that an everyday person can do to reduce overall plastics pollution in our environment. The video below provides insights into the collection and lab processes as it is not easy to tell microplastics apart from other debris. 

Take a quick look around you. Count the number of things that are made of plastic or has a plastic component. Chances are, you would find at least 10 items. Plastic is all around us, long after we no longer use them. In making, using, and discarding plastics, we generate a lot of microplastics. How much microplastics are there in our lake and should we be concerned?  Learn more!

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