Are microfibres a problem for aquatic ecosystems? What we don’t know about textile pollution

Matteo Gallidabino*, Kelly Sheridan, Thomas Stanton, Alana James, Jessica Ginting

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The majority of garments are made from textile fibres. These fibres are lost from garments during their lifetime. Textile fibres in an environmental context are often referred to as microfibres. Microfibres are one of the most abundant anthropogenic particle types in the environment, and may represent a serious hazard to environmental and human health. Indeed, the presence of microfibres has been documented in many types of ecosystems, including terrestrial soils, indoor and outdoor air, ice and snow, as well as in marine and freshwater environments.1 The materials of these fibres vary considerably, and the impacts of these different materials are not well understood. Whilst there is widespread concern about the impacts of plastic textile fibres, our work shows that natural textile fibres are more prevalent in the environment, and their environmental impacts have the potential to be greater than plastic fibres.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherKing's College London
Number of pages4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023

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