Something is in the Air: Atmospheric Microplastic Transport and Deposition in Natural and Unnatural Environments of Argentina

Martin Blettler

Other projects

7 Feb 2017

Plastic Debris in Sediments of a Large South American River (Paraná River): Occurrence and Spatial Distribution

28 Sep 2018

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.

MP sampling in a lake of the Paraná River floodplain. © Martin Blettler.

MP sampling in a lake of the Paraná River floodplain. © Martin Blettler.

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.

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