Marketplace

  • Rechip Flood Defence Water
    Rechip Flood Defence

    Flood defences made from 100% recycled plastic

    Rechip Flood Defence have introduced a commercial flood defence system made from 100% recycled plastic utilising the Rechip patented technology.

  • Jacopa Water
    Jacopa

    Trial to Take the P Out

    As European directives drive ever more stringent consents for phosphorus removal, utilities are seeking technologies that can remove phosphorus from wastewater to the new lower levels required. However, achieving this economically with conventional technology is a challenge and innovative new solutions are required.

  • Futurebuild 2019 Trade Shows & Conferences
    Futurebuild 2019

    The challenge is on for the built environment ... get your free tickets for Futurebuild 2019

    The built environment industry can influence the resilience, sustainability and quality of homes, buildings and elements of infrastructure and cities. Global scientific evidence and strategies, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, are giving a clear message: it is now time to think the unthinkable to make change happen.

  • Celtic Recycling Laboratory, Monitoring, Process & Analytical
    Celtic Recycling

    Quantifying contaminants in oil and gas for recycling

    Celtic Recycling specialises in the recovery, management and recycling of redundant heavy electrical equipment, including the removal and dismantling of oil- and gas-filled transformers from National Grid sites across the UK.

v ecohouse button

shared iterest button

web mossborough spud field copy

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 16:33

All-woman crew sail Britain to test for microplastics in mussels

Microplastics in mussels and hormone disrupting chemicals in seawater come under the microscope as researchers help an all-woman sailing crew highlight plastic pollution.

exxpedition1An artist, activist, filmmaker and supermarket fish buyer are among the 14-strong eXXpedition crew sailing round Britain to show people and politicians the extent of the problem.

Shellfish and sea water samples they collect will be tested by ecotoxicologists for harmful microplastics and powerful pollutants that derail the endocrine system.

"As seafood eaters, we are likely to be consuming microplastics from these shellfish," said Dr Chris Green at Brunel University London.

Dr Green is working with The University of Hull to investigate the types and amounts of plastics in mussels from spots round the British coast. "These are tiny pieces of plastic that mussels ingest like microfibres from clothing and fragmented pieces of bottles and bags."

While eating microplastics from shellfish is not deemed a human health risk, the effects on people remain unknown. And they could also affect the creature's ability to grow and reproduce. 

Scientists at Hull will extract micro particles from the mussels, before Dr Green uses electromagnetic radiation to test if they actually are plastic. The spectroscopy process used at Brunel's Experimental Techniques Centre can even tell what polymer the plastic is – which sheds light on where it has come from. They may also find out if mussels from different locations contain different amounts of microplastics.

exxpedition yachtRound Britain 2017's 72ft Sea Dragon yacht left last week from Plymouth where it will return to dock on September 5 after stop-offs in Cardiff, Belfast, Arran, Stornoway, Edinburgh and London. The 30-day mission will also measure seawater for chemicals such as Bisphenol A, used to make plastics, and the flame retardant PFOS. Little is known about the levels of such chemicals in the sea, particularly in Britain – something Brunel's Professor Rakesh Kanda will analyse.

"It's great to support the eXXpedition in raising awareness about plastic and chemical pollution," Dr Green added. "They are providing us with a great opportunity to analyse samples from around the coast to tell us more about the state of our seas."

LINKS
Youtube video about the expedition

Plastic Ocean documentary trailer

Brunel Experimental Techniques Centre

exxpedition