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Microplastics discovered across the bottom of St. Lawrence River

Researchers have discovered microplastics across the bottom of the St. Lawrence River, the first time these pollutants have been found in freshwater sediment. Scientists from McGill University and the province of Quebec published their discovery this month in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. The microbeads they found usually come from personal care or cleaning products that wash down the drain and pass through sewage and treatment plants right into bodies of water. Researchers collected sediment with a steel grabber from ten locations between Lake St.

Federal legislation would ban microplastics in personal care products

BUFFALO – A New York U.S. senator recently introduced legislation to ban tiny plastic particles in personal care products. These plastic microbeads are found in products like facial scrubs, body washes, hand cleansers and toothpastes. They are too small to be caught by wastewater treatment plants so they end up in large bodies of water like the Great Lakes. Illinois has already banned plastic microbeads in consumer products and similar legislation is being considered in New York, Ohio and California. The plastics concentrate toxins that would normally settle in sediment at the bottom of the lake.

Large lakes worldwide share many of the same threats

By Ray García

Algae pollution, plastic pollution and waste run-off plague the Great Lakes here in the United States. But similar problems also threaten large bodies of freshwater worldwide. The seven African Great Lakes and Lake Baikal in Russia, two of the world’s largest systems of freshwater, also face these problems daily. During the summer, a rapid growth of algae is among the most prominent challenges in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. These algal blooms harm the lake animals and can harm humans as well.