Samples from across the Great Lakes hope to measure microplastics

file000729402570Samples from across the Great Lakes are being sent to a lab in Maine after the what organizers are calling the largest aquatic plastic sampling event in history.

Microplastics have become a growing concern in the scientific community because they’ve been found in every corner of the planet.

Basically, microplastics are what plastics break down into. They can persists for thousands of years and scientists don’t yet know how these microscopic plastics affect human health.

Melissa Duhaime is a researcher with the University of Michigan. She said the sampling event was held to get a measurement of microplastic levels across the Great Lakes region.

“This data will then go into a growing public database to better understand and track the abundance of plastic out here.”

Duhaime said once researchers understand how much plastic is in the environment they’ll be able to test how those levels impact health.

She said she’s unsure when initial test results will be available.