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Microplastics threaten Lake Superior

Flickr User cranefarm

A new contaminant is threatening Lake Superior. Microplastics … which include plastic fragments under five millimeters … have been discovered in the western basin of the lake. Elizabeth Minor is a professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Large Lakes Observatory. She says some microplastics are so small that they can’t be studied. 

“We do know they’re there. We know they’re there in greater quantities than they were before and we know that plastics tend to survive for long periods of time in the environment. So they’re likely to become a more visible part of the environment for the foreseeable future.” :17

Minor says researchers have found microplastics in fish stomachs and lake sediments. She says she’s developing a method to test for smaller particles.