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Skule Lunch & Learn: Drinking Water and Health – Should we be Concerned About Microplastics?
February 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Did you know that the Drinking Water Research Group (DWRG) at the University of Toronto has received funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), as well as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to investigate microplastics in Canadian drinking water? Efforts by the DWRG over the past three years have led to the development and subsequent refinement of advanced microplastic sampling and analysis techniques, allowing us to focus on the different health impact related issues.
But what exactly are Microplastics and why are they referred to as a “triple threat”?
Microplastics are typically defined as polymeric particles <5 mm in size which occur in a range of shapes (e.g. fragments, films, fibers, spheres, etc.). Recent limited studies have shown microplastics to be present in both surface waters as well as treated drinking waters around the globe. Increasing interest has led the World Health Organization to publish a report outlining the state of the science with respect to microplastics in drinking water, concluding that additional studies are required to understand the extent of contamination and risks associated with microplastics in treated drinking water.
Microplastics are considered a “triple-threat” as health impacts may be associated with the following:
- Ingestion of small microplastic particles of various types, especially those which are very small and range from 1um-20um,
- Sorption of chemical contaminants onto microplastics such that they may serve as vectors of transport, especially when considering contaminants of emerging concern, and …
- The potential for pathogenic organisms to attach to microplastics.
Join us February 16th for a special Skule Lunch & Learn Presentation with Professor Robert Andrews and Susan Andrews to learn more about the health impacts of microplastics in drinking water.
Click here to view Professor Robert Andrew's bio.
Click here to view Professor Susan Andrew's bio.
Brought to you in partnership with the University of Toronto Affinity Partners: