Microplastics


Team Lifespan: January 2021 - June 2024

The ITRC Microplastics Team will publish their Online Guidance Document in February
2023, geared toward an audience with reasonable scientific understanding, but not microplastic-specific knowledge. The guidance will provide information on microplastics and the state of the applied science without diving deep into the scientific literature. Online training will be offered starting in March 2023. Click here to view the Microplastics team fact sheet for more information. 

The Team will continue working to develop a toolkit to provide resources for environmental professionals to use in communicating microplastic issues to members of the public. New work on the Microplastics Outreach Toolkit starts in January 2023.

Background

Although microplastics are small — plastic debris less than five millimeters long — they pose one of the largest emerging threats to the global environmental community today. Microplastics have been introduced to the environment over the last 50 years through plastic refuse which has been broken down, and particles in health and beauty products which have entered the waste stream. Because of their small size and pervasiveness
in the environment, microplastics, along with any other contaminants which are adhered to the microplastics,
are consumed by humans and other organisms. Recent studies have shown their harmful effects on environmental media, due to their chemical nature and persistence.

Team Leaders

Valerie Hanley
Valerie.Hanley@dtsc.ca.gov

Kim Nimmer
kim.nimmer@ncdenr.gov

Program Advisor

Cherri Baysinger