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Researchers say microplastics found at the ELA

By Tim Davidson Mar 19, 2024 | 11:09 AM

Plastic pollution is a growing problem, and even remote areas in northwestern Ontario are being affected.

The Experimental Lakes Area tested nine lakes both inside and outside it’s boundaries.

Researcher Hayley McIlwraith says all nine lakes, whether they had human activity or not, showed the presence of micro-plastics, which is concerning.

“Fish are consuming them and we are consuming them as well,” explains McIlwraith.

“We’ve now found them within humans and we know that at certain levels, microplastics can have affects on growth of different organisms, their reproduction and even sometimes on their survival.”

She says micro-plastics can range in size from 2 microns to 5 millimeters, and are quite often wind-born.

“They can travel along on wind currents, also if it’s not as windy a day, more is going to come out of the air.  If there are trees nearby, it can also affect how microplastics are going to settle out.”

McIlwraith says it didn’t seem to matter where the lakes were located, the had the same level of micro-plastics.