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Microplastics in the Great Lakes: 1,941 Particles Per Pound of Sediment

From the Great Pacific garbage patch to inland rivers, plastics are among the most widespread contaminants on Earth. Microplastics—particles of plastic smaller than five millimeters—are especially pervasive. As they build up in Earth’s waters, microplastics are also becoming a permanent part of the planet’s sedimentary layers.

Now, using the Great Lakes as a laboratory, sedimentary petrologist Patricia Corcoran and her students at the University of Western Ontario are studying the behavior of microplastics as a geologic phenomenon.
 


 
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Pesticides: A Key Concern for the Great Barrier Reef - Pollution and declining water quality are a couple of key threats faced by the Great Barrier Reef. In 2009 a pesticide monitoring program collected samples at eleven sites; at least two pesticides were detected at every site. Diuron, atrazine, and metolachlor exceeded Australian and New Zealand water quality guidelines at eight sites.


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