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Microplastics Shedding Characteristics White Paper published

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Eurofins Softlines & Leather have published a new White Paper titled ‘Microplastics from textile sources – Understanding the characteristics of microplastics shedding from simulated domestic laundry through quantification’.

Microplastics – referred to as particles of plastic smaller than 5mm – have become a controversial topic in recent years as the potential risks of microplastics to the human body, the ecosystem and the environment have been exposed. Researches by different institutes and organisations have indicated that the quantity of microplastics discovered in human bodies and water bodies is rising.

A study has indicated that shedding of microplastics from synthetic textiles during domestic laundry has been identified as a key source of the primary microplastics found in oceans. However, given the lack of industry standards and regulation on textile-related microplastics release, it is a challenge for the industry to measure its real impact and therefore look for meaningful solutions.

Read more: Lenzing Group Sustainability Report 2019

Eurofins Softlines & Leather has developed a report that assesses microplastics shedding quantification from textile products during simulated domestic laundry. Samples undergo simulated domestic washing (from single wash to multiple wash) in a controlled environment. Liquid is filtered to collect residue for analysis.

Based on nearly 600 samples from this offering, the White Paper shares analysis with the industry in the hope of supporting the development of impactful solutions to this microscopic challenge. Highlights of the findings include:

  • Fabrics and garments which are made with yarns containing fibres of longer lengths shed less particles into water.
  • When comparing fabrics of the same composition and with similar weight, it cannot be concluded yet that the construction of the fabric directly results in a larger volume of microplastics being shed.
  • The results show that the length of fibres shed in higher quantities are those that are between 0.45 µm and below 50 µm in measurement. These fibres are produced from one to ten washing cycles. 

You can download the white paper for free here.

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