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Krill can turn microplastics into nanoplastics – study

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A world-first study by Australian researchers has found that krill can digest certain forms of microplastic into smaller – but no less pervasive – fragments. The study, published in Nature Communications journal on Friday, found that Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, can break down 31.5 micron polyethylene balls into fragments less than one micron in diameter. The study was conducted in laboratory conditions with new plastics. The lead researcher, Dr Amanda Dawson, who completed the study as part of a PhD with Griffith University, said that it was likely that microplastics in the ocean would be even easier to digest because they had already been degraded by UV radiation. Within five days in a plastic-free environment, all plastics had left the krills’ systems, meaning that microplastics from krill would not accumulate in animals further up the food chain, such as whales.The digested fragments were on average 78% smaller than the original fragments, with some up to 94% smaller.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/12/krill-can-turn-microplastics-into-nanoplastics-study

Posted by on Mar 12 2018. Filed under News at Now. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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