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New Detection Devices Could Record Microplastic Pollution Levels in Real Time
The scope of the microplastic pollution problem is astonishing. While nations need to slow the rate of plastics entering Earth’s waters, discovering what the density of it is, and where it is, is critical to know especially where such areas overlap with large populations of filter feeding organisms.

  • Microplastic pollution is a threat to marine life and is found in the bodies of animals all along the food chain.
  • Detecting microplastic pollution levels in the oceans is becoming increasingly important, in part so that sources can be found and vulnerable species protected if possible.
  • Traditional testing via tow nets and lab analysis is slow and expensive, but a new generation of sensors is being developed to measure microplastics faster and at various depths.
  • Mongabay spoke with Sheila Hemami, Director of Strategic Technical Opportunities for Massachusetts-based R&D laboratory Draper, which is developing new tools to record microplastic pollution levels in real time.

 
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