ASC Microplastics Project
Microplastics particles, which are smaller than five millimeters in size, likely pose a massive environmental and human health risk.
Toxins including DDT, BPA and pesticides adhere to the particles, and because they can resemble plankton, they're often ingested by small aquatic life. The toxins biomagnify as they move up the food chain, accumulating in birds, fish, marine mammals and potentially humans.
Microplastics have several sources: They're laundered from nylon clothing; they wash down the drain with many common cosmetics and toothpastes; and they weather from debris like drink bottles and shopping bags.
ASC's partner scientist has found microplastics in the vast majority of samples we've collected, from places including Maine, Alaska, Argentina, Thailand and Antarctica. ASC expanded our research to freshwater in early 2015 to begin identifying the sources of this pollution.
Do you paddle, sail, surf, swim or hike
near water? You can collect samples for
the ASC Microplastics Project.
Help researchers study the sources, composition and distribution of microplastics pollution in oceans,
rivers and lakes worldwide.
Watch a short video about the ASC Marine Microplastics Project: