August 29, 2022 –
The UWA Institute of Agriculture is pleased to host Professor Meththika Vithanage for this free lecture on Microplastics in the Environment.
Microplastics in the size range from 100 um to 5 mm are ubiquitous in the environmental triad; soil, water and air. Application of plastic mulch film, compost and biosolids into agricultural soils induce a threat to soil physico-chemical and biological properties. Microplastics in the water environment may act as a vector transporting various pollutants from one place to another.
Microplastics can interact with antibiotics and there is a possibility of developing antibiotic microbial resistance in the environment. Municipal waste landfills, agricultural lands, and traffic acts as sources for atmospheric microplastics. X-press Pearl ship disaster is considered as the largest ever incident of microplastics released into the marine environment.
Microplastics and plastic additives such as plasticizers may end up in the food web, bioaccumulate and cause health risks. However, limited studies exist on the effect of microplastics in soil, water and air, where most of the literature focus on reporting the abundance and hence there are ample opportunities for research related to microplastic and environmental health.