Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / UB scientists analyse microfibres in marine floors

UB scientists analyse microfibres in marine floors

22
Nov '18
Courtesy: Universitat de Barcelona
Courtesy: Universitat de Barcelona
A study led by researchers of the UB has analysed textile microfibres in south European marine floors, from the Cantabrian Sea to the Black Sea. The study has analysed the amount of these coloured fibres, which vary between 3 to 8 mm but are extremely fine, with less than a 0.1 mm diameter, and which come mainly from home and industrial washing machines.

The results show the dominance of cellulosic fibres over synthetic polymers, and highlight that several oceanographic processes pile and transport microfibres to marine hollows.

The study has been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE by the researchers Anna Sànchez Vidal, William P de Haan and Miquel canals, from the consolidated research group on Marine Geosciences of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the UB, in collaboration with Richard C Thompson, from the University of Plymouth (United Kingdom). According to the researchers, the study reports the presence of this residue in marine floors and could help designing effective management strategies to reduce the emission of microfibres with a potential negative effect on the marine ecosystems.

Microfibres are one of the most common microplastics in the marine environment, but such a deep study had not been carried out so far in a large area. Researchers analysed soil samples from 42 and 3,500 metres deep in 29 stations in southern European seas. The results show that higher densities of fibre are found in the Cantabrian Sea, followed by the Catalan seas and the Alboran Sea, respectively, while lower densities are in the western Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

The study also shows distance in deep seas is not a barrier to the accumulation of microfibres, since about 20 per cent of these particles are accumulated in the open sea beyond 2,000 metres deep. “Textile microfibres seem to concentrate at the bottom of submarine canyons, while the quantity in the slope is significantly lower. This suggests microfibres, probably coming from the ground (a washing machine can release up to 700,000 microfibres to waste waters in one use), are accumulated in the continental platform, from where they are swept and taken by several oceanographic processes to marine hollows through the natural conducts –marine canyons,” says Anna Sànchez Vidal, from the Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics.

These findings also confirm previous studies that detected microfibres that were ingested by deep water organisms in a natural environment. “Recent results show ingests of microplastics by different organisms and in different ecosystems, but the specific impact on the organisms is unknown”, highlights Vidal. “It can depend on a wide range of factors, such as features of the microfibres (size, abundance), or chemical substances these absorbed as well as the physiology and ecology (size, feeding, whether they excrete or accumulate, etc) of marine organisms,” notes the expert.

The main type of microfibre they found in marine floors is the natural cellulose (cotton, linen) and regenerated cellulose (rayon of viscose), coming from clothes and industrial textiles mainly. Regarding synthetic fibres, polyester is the most common one, followed by acrylic, polyamide, polythene and polypropylene. “Some of these synthetic microfibres are made of plastic, which does not degrade shortly, it can contain chemical additives, which can be easily incorporated to the trophic network”, highlights the researcher.

For the researchers, the presence and persistence of microfibres in marine soils –and the negative impact these can have on marine organisms in the long run- makes it clear there is a need to design effective management strategies to reduce the emission. “We need to advance in research and innovation in the textile industry, in the design of effective filters for washing machines, in the treatment of waste waters, and the promotion of sustainable clothing,” concludes Vidal. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


Must ReadView All

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 12th May 2021

Economic recovery under threat amid surging COVID cases: UN

While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound...

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 12th May 2021

Uzbekistan exported textile products worth $637.7 million in Q1 2021

Uzbekistan exported textile products worth $637.7 million to 54...

Pic: Woolworths Holdings Limited

Retail | On 12th May 2021

South African retailer Woolworths posts Q3 FY21 sales of R16.5 bn

Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL), a South African retail company,...

Interviews View All

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Money never disappears-it just finds new opportunities

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Virtual reality would be the new normal

Textile Industry, Head honchos

Textile Industry
Head honchos

Value of 'Made in India' should get more importance

Alberto Gotti,

Alberto Gotti

Danitech was born from the will of a group of technicians to offer the...

Chini Chouhan,

Chini Chouhan

Founded by Chini Chouhan, her eponymous brand specialises in women's...

Ritu Oberoi,

Ritu Oberoi

Mumbai-based Forsarees is a socially driven business enterprise, working...

Daniel Roxbury, University of Rhode Island

Daniel Roxbury
University of Rhode Island

Assistant professor Daniel Roxbury and former URI graduate student...

Silverio Baranzano, Fitesa

Silverio Baranzano
Fitesa

Fitesa is a leader in the nonwoven fabrics industry, specialising in...

Kevin Young & Tom Lucas, Web Industries

Kevin Young & Tom Lucas
Web Industries

Web Industries is a precision formatter of nonwoven materials used in baby ...

Ramya Rao & Kavea R Chavali, Kalaneca

Ramya Rao & Kavea R Chavali
Kalaneca

<div>The journey of Kalaneca (kala-Art, Neca- Nikaah) formally began in...

Suman Nathwani, Suman Nathwani

Suman Nathwani
Suman Nathwani

Designer <b>Suman Nathwani</b> talks about her journey of opening a...

Sandeep Gonsalves & Sarah Gonsalves, Sarah & Sandeep

Sandeep Gonsalves & Sarah Gonsalves
Sarah & Sandeep

Established in 2012, Sarah &amp; Sandeep is a luxury menswear label...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


May 2021

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Advanced Search