16 Aug 2023
Plastic Debris in Sediments of a Large South American River (Paraná River): Occurrence and Spatial Distribution
Microplastics Ingestions by Fauna as a Serious Emerging Threat in Freshwater Systems
Microplastics (MPs) are a global environmental issue polluting terrestrial, aquatic and aerial environments.
It is well known that MPs can cause tissue damage, oxidative stress, changes in immune-related gene expression, neurotoxicity, growth retardation and behavioral abnormalities in animals and humans, those who ingest and breathe them.
Yet, the scientific and public knowledge about airborne MPs is extremely sparse.
Because of that, herein we focus on the air (atmosphere) as a new vehicle for MP entrance to natural environments from unnatural ones (cities, air-open dumps, highways, etc.), and on the concrete measures to reduce it.
In this sense, the objectives of this proposal are: 1) to identify the main sources (cities, open air-dumps, highways) and pathways (transport, deposition) of air-plastic-pollution entering to the natural or semi-natural environment (Paraná River floodplain); and 2) to influence decision-makers to bring about changes in laws, policies and practices in order to reduce airborne MP pollution.
Thus, we expect to create synergies and coordinate actions with decision-makers to reduce air-plastic-pollution in the region, based on our own scientific results. The integration of scientific, non-profit organizations, government, business, and community is crucial to be successful in this mission.
Header: Kayaks for mobility in the Paraná River floodplain (zero carbon footprint and free of noise pollution). © Martin Blettler.