They are known as “microfibres” — exceedingly fine filaments made of petroleum-based materials such as polyester and nylon that are woven together into fabrics. Microbeads and fragments that fish eat typically pass through their bodies and are excreted. China Wholesale garden pond water pump They also found fibres inside a double-crested cormorant, a fish-eating bird. Similar measures were proposed in California and New York. It’s unclear why the fibres were three times as prevalent in that area as elsewhere in the lakes, although currents and wave actions may be one explanation, said Laura Kammin, pollution prevention specialist with Sea Grant.Scientists who have reported that the Great Lakes are awash in tiny bits of plastic are raising new alarms about a little-noticed form of the debris turning up in sampling nets: synthetic fibres from garments, cleaning cloths and other consumer products.. But fibres are becoming enmeshed in gastrointestinal tracts of some fish Ms Mason and her students have examined. Other researchers have made similar finds in the oceans. Among the particles are abrasive beads used in personal care products such as facial and body washes and toothpastes.
The fibres are so minuscule that people typically don’t realise their favourite pullover fleece can shed thousands of them with every washing, as the journal Environmental Science & Technology reported in 2011. Over the past couple of years, Ms Mason and colleagues have documented the existence of microplastic litter — some too small to see with the naked eye — in the Great Lakes.But microfibres have got comparatively little attention. Smaller portions consist of microbeads, Styrofoam and other materials. They’ve accounted for about four per cent of the plastic litter that Mason and her students have collected from the Great Lakes.”When we launder our clothes, some of the little microfibres will break off and go down the drain to the waste water treatment facility and end up in our bodies of water,” Sherri “Sam” Mason, a chemist with the State University of New York at Fredonia, said.Ominously, the fibres seem to be getting stuck inside fish in ways that other microplastics aren’t.But when Ms Mason’s team and a group from the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program took samples from southern Lake Michigan in 2013, about 12 percent of the debris consisted of microfibres. Illinois imposed a statewide ban on microbeads last year. The group drags finely meshed netting along the lake surfaces, harvesting tens of thousands of particles persquare mile, and study them with microscopes.A number of companies are replacing microbeads with natural substances such as ground-up fruit pits.About three-quarters of the bits they’ve found are fragments of larger items such as bottles