Wednesday, April 10, 2024

George Washington Regional Commission and Urban Heat Islands

In 1968 under the Regional Cooperation Act , Virginia was divided into planning districts based on the proximity and common interests among its counties, cities and towns. There are 21 regional commissions in Virginia. They are made up of elected officials and citizens appointed to the Commission by the member local governments. The Commission selects an Executive Director responsible for managing daily operations and has staff. Commission offices are located generally in a central location for the region as determined by the Commission charter. 

We in Prince William are part of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission that consists of Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William and Loudoun along with their independent cities and incorporated towns in these counties. Adjacent to the eastern part of Prince William County  is the George Washington Regional Commission which encompasses; Caroline County, City of Fredericksburg, King George County, Spotsylvania County, and Stafford County.

At the last Potomac Watershed Roundtable meeting, Meredith Keppel, the Environmental Planner at the George Washington Regional commission told us about some of their environmental work. Their region has several ongoing environmental programs intended to help the region use land wisely. Some of these programs are a septic relief program that pulls together various resources and funding to facilitate septic repairs for citizens. A native plant campaign and funding sources for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan funding sources. However, the program with the most fascinating story was the Green Infrastructure program.

The George Washington Regional Commission is hosting a Green Infrastructure charette to “collaboratively explore and envision how green infrastructure can address stormwater and urban heat island issues in the region.” This charette will take place on  Friday, April 26, 2024 starting at noon at the Howell Library Branch in Fredericksburg, VA. You can got to the GW Commission website for more information. https://gwregion.org/environment/green-infrastructure

One of the best definitions I’ve seen of green infrastructure comes from the American Rivers Association What is Green Infrastructure? (americanrivers.org) edited below:

Green infrastructure is an approach to water management that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure means planting trees and restoring wetlands, choosing water efficiency, instead of building more water supply dams, restoring floodplains instead of building taller levees. Green infrastructure incorporates both the natural environment and engineered systems to provide clean water, conserve ecosystem functions, and provide a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife.

Green infrastructure solutions can be applied on different scales. On the local level, green infrastructure practices include rain gardens, permeable pavements, green roofs, infiltration planters, trees, and tree boxes, and rainwater harvesting systems. At the largest scale, the preservation and restoration of natural landscapes (such as forests, floodplains, and wetlands) are critical components of green infrastructure.

In its simplest terms green infrastructure is changing the way you live and build to capture rainwater where it falls and allowing it to absorb into the earth or be taken up by plants. Plants use the sun's energy and do not reflect it back. What is really interesting about this program at the George Washington Regional commission is its origin. The green infrastructure is intended to address flooding and the urban heat island effect.

Areas with a large amount of impervious surfaces (such as asphalt, concrete, buildings, etc.) not only are susceptible to flooding but are also susceptible to  higher ambient air temperatures because the man made roads, parking lots, concrete surfaces and buildings absorb and trap heat more heat than natural environments. Plants use the energy of the sun while man made surfaces absorb and radiate the energy of the sun. These clustering of heat absorbing manmade surfaces and structures create Urban Heat Islands that can impact a community’s environment and quality of life increasing energy consumption for cooling, increase emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, and impaired water quality.

Friends of the Rappahannock conducted a study of ambient temperatures a couple of years ago. Using  volunteers who obtained 320 air temperature measurements at 20 sample sites within the George Washington Region on July 10, 2022. These samples were then put into a Random Forest model in ArcGIS Pro (an ESRI product). The model was used to extrapolate temperatures across the region, ultimately identifying non-heat islands, heat islands, and urban heat islands. The data found that 3.57% of the landmass of the region (approximately 32,700 acres) was an EPA classified urban heat island.

 Geographically the heat island results were clustered in Fredericksburg and surrounding areas into Stafford and Spotsylvania. An area in north Stafford recorded the highest temperature in the study at 104. This temperature was a  17-degree Fahrenheit difference from forestland temperatures found. Other hotspots included the Route 17 corridor in Stafford County; Central Park and Celebrate Virginia South in Fredericksburg; the Spotsylvania Towne Center and Cosner’s Corner in Spotsylvania County; and Dahlgren and the King George Landfill/Birchwood Power complex in King George County.

This map is from the press release 

A 17℉ heat island effect was stunning to the George Washington Regional Commission and quite frankly, me. In the hottest days of summer, there is always a cooler breeze coming from the woodland behind my home in the evenings. With all the industrial development of data centers are we building urban heat islands, too. Maybe the Northern Virginia Regional Commission should take a look at that. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

The Fauquier Education Farm

Last week Jim Hankins the Executive Director (and only full time employee) of the Fauquier Education Farm came to speak at the Potomac Watershed Roundtable. Jim, who is no longer young, has been a lifelong gardener.  In 2001he started growing cut flowers commercially to sell to local florists and at farmers markets. In 2007 he was hired as Gardens Manager at Park Hill Orchard, an organic orchard and produce farm in Easthampton, Mass.

The original plan of establishing a community farm came from the Fauquier Community Action committee in 2009. In 2010, a new non-profit was established to develop a program of agricultural education and growing of fresh produce to be donated to food banks for lower income residents- the Fauquier Education Farm was created. Their mission is to advance agriculture and agriculture-related education through best-method demonstrations, classroom instruction, on-farm workshops, and hands-on learning. In addition, the farm supports the community by contributing all of its agricultural products to local food banks and by providing richly rewarding volunteer opportunities.

from FEF website

The Farm is on 10 acres off of Metz Road leased from Fauquier County for $1 per year. The Farm offers a broad range of activities to showcase how to plant, maintain and harvest fresh vegetables while also being good stewards of the land using sustainable farming and best practices. The Fauquier Education Farm also plays a role in support of the Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer and Rancher Programs. These are two multi-week courses for folks who are new to, or dreaming of launching, a farming business. The Fauquier Education Farm Incubator Program is intended to offer real-world experience with small-scale farming to individuals who are ready to start commercial vegetable or cut flower production but do not own land and equipment.

Though  the farm has grown and donates over 100,000 pound of produce per year to several local area food banks, their fundraising had a significant setback last year with the local focus on fighting data centers. It seems that donors to the Fauquier Educational Farm and donors to the fight to limit data centers in Fauquier County are same and there are limits to dollars available.  

FEF website
So, spring is here, the high tunnels are filled with seedlings and planting will start soon. Grab you kids for a couple of hours of volunteering- they welcome all. There is no minimum or maximum age.  Young and old are welcome. The Farm only asks that parents of young children work closely with them to ensure that they are doing more good than harm. All minor age children must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers assist with planting, harvesting, tending to crops and delivering to local food banks. The Volunteer Coordinator sends out a weekly email during the growing season detailing the tasks they will work on and hours each week. Sign up to receive the emails. Also, consider a donation to keep this worthy operation going!

https://www.fauquiereducationfarm.org/get-involved

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Cleaning the Water Distribution Systems

Beginning last week on March 25, 2024,  Fairfax Water and Loudoun Water  began flushing their water distribution systems. Because Prince William Service Authority purchases most of their water from Fairfax Water, they too, have embarked on the spring flushing of the water distribution system. The Washington Aqueduct which supplies water to D.C. and Arlington and a small area of Fairfax also began their annual program at the same time this year. Each spring for about 12 weeks in Washington DC,  Arlington , Fairfax Water and Loudoun Water flush their water mains by opening fire hydrants and allowing them to flow freely for a short period of time. In addition, the Washington Aqueduct, Fairfax Water and Loudoun Water temporary change how the water is disinfected.

For most of the year, chloramines, also known as combined chlorine, is added to the water as the primary disinfectant. During the spring the Washington Aqueduct and Fairfax water treatment plants switch back to chlorine in an uncombined state, commonly referred to as free chlorine. This free chlorine reacts with sediments suspended during flushing and kills bacteria that may be in the bio-film that forms on the pipe walls. Many water chemistry experts believe this short exposure to a different type of disinfectant maintains a low microbial growth in the bio-film and improves the quality and safety of the water. This change will last through May 6th 2024 for Fairfax Water,  Loudoun Water, Prince William Service Authority, and the Washington Aqueduct.

This change in disinfection is an annual program to clean the water distribution pipes and maintain high water quality throughout the year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Washington Aqueduct provides water to the District of Columbia, Arlington County, and Falls Church and McLean VA. Fairfax Water provides water to the Fairfax county (purchasing it from the Aqueduct for Falls Church and McLean) and parts of both Loudoun and Prince William County. Both Fairfax Water and the Aqueduct switch from chloramine to chlorine during this period. DC Water is completing their pipe flushing. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) abolished its preventative flushing program years ago to save money. In recent years WSSC has been plagued with discolored water complaints and will flush a hydrant on request.

Those of you in the Fairfax, Loudoun,  Arlington and Washington DC service areas may notice a slight chlorine taste and smell in your drinking water during this time, this is not harmful and the water remains safe to drink. If you are a coffee and tea lover like me, use filtered water or leave an open container of water in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the smell to dissipate. Water customers who normally take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities and aquarium owners, should continue to take the same precautions during the temporary switch to chlorine. Most methods for removing chloramine from tap water are effective in removing chlorine. The annual chlorination is important step to remove residue from the water distribution system.

Flushing the water system entails sending a rapid flow of chlorinated water through the water mains. As part of the flushing program, fire hydrants are checked and operated in a coordinated pattern to help ensure their operation and adequate flushing of the system. Water pressure should not be significantly impacted during this process. The flushing removes sediments made up of minerals which have accumulated over time in the pipes as well as bacteria on the bio-film. An annual flushing program helps to keep fresh and clear water throughout the distribution system. Removing the residue ensures that when the water arrives in your home, it is the same high quality as when it left the water treatment plant.

During the spring flushing program your water may look or taste different. Free chlorine is quicker acting than chloramines, which allows it to react with sediments suspended during the flushing which may result in temporary discoloration and the presence of sediment in your water. These conditions should be of very short duration and the water is reported to be safe. Though, remember you still need to treat tap water before using it in a fish aquarium. Disinfectants can harm fish. Check with a local pet store to learn what types of chemicals you need to add to the tank to neutralize the effects of the disinfectant.

During the spring flushing you may notice a white of bubbly appearance or a chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water. The bubbly appearance is simply a result of the oxygen in the water being stirred up during flushing causing visible air bubbles. Let the water sit for a few seconds and you will see the bubbles clear from bottom to top. The chlorine taste can be removed by filter or by simply letting the water sit in an open container in your refrigerator. If you are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine, filters commonly used in refrigerators are very effective at removing chlorine- change your filter.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Cicadas are Coming

This spring (late April and early May) the 17-year Brood XIII Cicadas will emerge in Northern Illinois, while the 13-year Brood XIX Cicadas will emerge in parts of Southeastern United States including parts of Virginia, but probably not more than a few stragglers in Northern Virginia.   Many people know periodical cicadas by the name "17-year locusts," but they are not the locusts of the bible. Those were a type of migrating grasshopper. However, if you live in the area of this year’s emergences , it may indeed feel like a plague for a few weeks. This is a big one, it is expected that this combined emergence will bring a trillion or more Cicadas.



However, counts of Cicadas are only estimates based on a very old data point.  The oft-quoted figure of densities that can exceed a million per acre comes from a census taken during the 1956 emergence of Brood XIII in Raccoon Grove, IL (Dybas and Davis 1962). Ironically, Brood XIII appears to have gone extinct in Raccoon Grove in the years since 1956 (Cooley et al. 2016). If the estimate of a million cicadas per acre is valid, then more than a trillions of cicadas will emerge in 2024 when Cicadas will emerge from Maryland to Oklahoma, Illinois to Alabama. It is not common to have a dual emergence between Broods XIII and XIX. They occur once every 221 years and the last time these two broods emerged together was in 1803 when Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States.

When they emerge in mass, you can report periodical cicadas using the Cicada Safari App, available on the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.  This will help scientists map the full extent of Brood XIII and XIX then we can really know the full extent of the Broods. If it does not feel like you are being inundated and you only see a few cicadas, they are probably stragglers from other broods and should not be reported. Otherwise, users can submit video and photos of periodical cicadas to the app. Once verified, they will be added to an online map. The app greatly assists in Cicada research.




from University of Conn

In late April and early May, Cicadas, probably both Magicicada septendecim and Magicicada cassinii will emerge from the soil and climb onto nearby vegetation and other vertical surfaces. They then molt to the winged adult stage. The emergence is tightly synchronized, with most adults appearing within a few nights. Adult cicadas live for only two to four weeks. When the 17-year periodical cicadas emerge the density can be shocking and noisy. It is common to have tens to hundreds of thousands of periodical cicadas per acre, but there are records of up to a million and a half periodical cicadas in an acre. This is far beyond the density of most other Cicada species and half of the Cicadas are “singing.” Male cicadas sing quite loudly by vibrating membranes on the sides of their abdominal segment. Male songs and choruses are a courtship ritual to attract females for mating. 

The males’ choruses have been known to drive people to distraction-stay inside with the windows closed if needed. However, for most people, the droning song of the cicada is nothing more than a slight annoyance. To me the “song” sounds like wind on a cell phone connection, but you can listen to the actual chorus on this U-Tube video from Storyful Viral. Most people are more familiar with the dogday cicada that is prevalent annually in mid-summer. Their song is later in the summer and not as persistent.

The 17 year or 13-year periodical cicada is black, with red eyes and orange legs. “Adults have clear wings with distinctive orange veins. When viewed from the front the wings form an inverted "V" and meet at the top like a roof.” After mating, females lay their eggs in narrow young twigs slicing into the wood and depositing up to 400 eggs in total for each female in 40 to 50 locations each. It is the egg laying that does most of the damage associated with periodical cicadas. Cicada eggs remain in the twigs for six to ten weeks before hatching. The nymphs do not feed on the twigs and all but the youngest trees will recover.

  

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Flooding in Massachusetts

Excerpted from U.Mass and Massachusetts press release.

Our climate is changing, and that is impacting water. Though much has been made of the reduction in precipitation in the Southwest and water shortages, in truth, on average, total annual precipitation has increased over land areas in the United States and worldwide. Since 1901, global precipitation has increased at an average rate of 0.04 inches per decade, while precipitation in the contiguous 48 states has increased at a rate of 0.20 inches per decade.

Massachusetts has one of the most robust records of hydrological variables, such as precipitation and groundwater levels that goes back many decades. Studies this century suggest that climate will change the timing and nature of precipitation- alteration in thy hydrologic cycle.

Although few observational studies on ground water and climate have been done, in 2010 a group from the University of Massachusetts used the state’s wealth of data to examine the response of the water table to the last 60 years of climate in New England. That work by Boutt and Weider at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst found that since 1970, precipitation has increased in New England by 15–20%. Due to the geology in New England , this increase in precipitation is leading to a rapid rise in groundwater levels. In some parts of Massachusetts are seeing the water table rise by a few centimeters every year. While this value may seem small, the cumulative rise over decades can begin to affect sub-surface infrastructure.



Dr. David Bout head of the Hydrogeology Group at University of Massachusetts- Amherst and a professor of Earth, Geographic and Climate Sciences (EGCS) has been studying the impact of our changing climate on groundwater since 2005. Recently, the work being done by his group caught the eye of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Department of Conservation and Recreation, both of which asked Boutt and his colleagues to build a new model that could assess flooding risk from groundwater rise to improve that model with data from an ongoing statewide survey and to file a final report, which the group is in the process of completing.

To date their conclusions are that shallow groundwater in Massachusetts will rise by an average of 0.14-0.8 ft in the coming  years. The Groundwater Rise Risk Zones will increase groundwater flooding by 8-16%, groundwater emergence will increase by 7-14% and groundwater shoaling will increase by 4-8%. University of Massachusetts- Amherst expects the greatest groundwater risks to occur in Western Massachusetts.

 

Types of Groundwater Flooding
  • Groundwater rise: Movement upward of the water table due to short or long-term fluctuations in rainfall recharge and/or river, ocean or tidal levels.
  • Groundwater shoaling: Water table rise in the subsurface closer to, but not reaching, the land surface.
  • Groundwater emergence: Discharge/outflow of groundwater at the surface from the subsurface due to the rise of the water table at a point (spring) or diffuse locations.
  • Groundwater flooding: Temporary process of the rise of the water table resulting in a groundwater emergence where the water level surface intersects or goes above the land surface due to a changing condition.
From U.Mass presentation and quoting Bosserelle et al., 2021, Earth’s Future

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Groundwater- the Basics

Groundwater is the subsurface water that fills the spaces, pores or cracks in soils and rocks.   Aquifers are the name given to any body of rock or sand that contains a usable supply of water. The upper surface of this water-filled area, or "zone of saturation", is called the water table. The saturated area beneath the water table is called an aquifer, and aquifers are huge storehouses of water for mankind and the planet itself. A good aquifer must be both porous enough to hold water and permeable enough to allow the water to flow and the continuous recharge of water to a well.

Most of the void spaces in the rocks below the water table are filled with water. Depending on type, soils and rocks have different porosity and permeability characteristics, which means that water does not move around the same way in all rocks below ground. Combined together geology and rainfall determine the character of and the quantity of the groundwater.

Groundwater is replenished by the seepage of precipitation that falls on the land and infiltrates into the water table and the aquifer, and sometimes by surface water. Mankind can artificially deplete or replenished groundwater. There are many geologic, meteorologic, topographic, and human factors that determine the extent and rate to which aquifers are refilled with water or used up.

As the US Geological Survey points out: “Nearly all surface-water features (streams, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, and estuaries) interact with ground water. These interactions take many forms. In many situations, surface-water bodies gain water and solutes from ground-water systems and in others the surface-water body is a source of ground-water recharge and causes changes in ground-water quality. As a result, withdrawal of water from streams can deplete ground water or conversely, pumpage of ground water can deplete water in streams, lakes, or wetlands.”

Though the type of rock will determine the water capacity of the aquifer. There is variability in at what depth rocks are found. A relationship does not necessarily exist between the water-bearing capacity of rocks and the depth at which they are found, it varies tremendously by region and continent. A very dense granite that will yield little or no water to a well may be exposed at the land surface. Conversely, a porous sandstone may lie hundreds or thousands of feet below the land surface and may yield hundreds of gallons per minute of water. On the average, however, the porosity and permeability of rocks decrease as their depth below land surface increases because the weight of the overlying rocks compresses pores and cracks in rocks at great depths.

Geologic conditions also control the distribution of what are called structural belts of the earth’s surface that were formed with the mountains. These belts influence groundwater flow, recharge and discharge. Both geomorphology and geology determine the volumes of surface runoff and amounts and rates of infiltration. Depending on geologic conditions, ground water can be directly connected to surface water or not connected with surface water. The connection with surface water affects the ability of an aquifer to be recharged. Groundwater that has lost it’s connection to surface water

Like water on the earth’s surface, groundwater tends to flow downhill under the influence of gravity and eventually discharges, or flows out of the ground, into streams or other surface water-dependent areas, such as wetlands in the geology of New England and the mid-Atlantic states.

Ground water flow and storage, often viewed as static reservoirs, are dynamic and continually changing in response to human and climatic stress [Alley et al., 2002Gleeson et al., 2010]. Increase or decrease in precipitation patterns impacts available surface and groundwater. Man’s hand in changing the surface also impacts water resources. Land use changes that increase impervious cover more than 5-10% from roads, pavement and buildings does two things. It reduces the open area for rain and snow to seep into the ground and percolate into the groundwater and the impervious surfaces cause stormwater velocity to increase preventing water from having enough time to percolate into the earth, increasing storm flooding and preventing recharge of groundwater from occurring. 

Slowly, this can reduce water supply over time. Increasing population density increases water use. Significant increases in groundwater use and reduction in aquifer recharge can result in the slowly falling water levels over time showing that the water is being used up. Unless there is an earthquake or other geological event groundwater changes are not abrupt and problems with water supply tend to happen very slowly as demand increases with construction and recharge is impacted by adding paved roads, driveways, houses and other impervious surfaces. 

The changing land use impacts regional hydrology and groundwater recharge so the quantity of available groundwater and streamflow may decrease with the same amount of precipitation. Groundwater serves as a savings account for rivers and streams. Sustainability of groundwater is hyper-local. Little is known about the sustainability of our groundwater basins, but that is changing. Groundwater models and data from more monitoring wells can help develop a picture of the volume of the water within the groundwater basin and at what rate it is being used and at what rate it is being recharged. This can help manage water resources during drought years and wet years.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Nano Plastics found in Bottled Water

The blog is excerpted from the Columbia University researchnews and the recently published article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study was coauthored by Xin Gao and Xiaoqi Lang of the Columbia Chemistry Department; Huipeng Deng and Teodora Maria Bratu of Lamont-Doherty; Qixuan Chen of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health; and Phoebe Stapleton of Rutgers University.

Plastics, a creation of mankind have become ubiquitous in our lives and on our planet. Plastic is a wonder, but is also one of the most commonly littered items in the world. Scientists have found that virtually all the plastic we ever made is non-degradable and is still with us. Much of the plastic ends up in landfills, or worn into smaller particles in the soil, in the ocean, or in our rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries, even in the air we breath. The existence of microplastics (1 µm to 5 mm in length) and the smaller nano plastics (<1 μm) has in recent years has raised health concerns.

Micro and nano plastics originating from the use and improper disposal of plastics worldwide have increasingly raised concerns because they have been found to have a negative impacts on the endocrine components in mammals- hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, testes, and ovaries. Micro and nano plastics absorb and act as a transport medium for harmful chemicals such as bisphenols, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ether, polychlorinated biphenyl ether, organotin, perfluorinated compounds, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organic contaminants, and the heavy metals, which are commonly used as additives in plastic production.

Nano plastics are so tiny that, unlike microplastics, they can pass through the intestines and lungs directly into the bloodstream and travel from there to organs including the heart and brain. Nano plastics can invade individual cells, and cross through the placenta to the bodies of unborn babies. Medical researchers are studying the impact of nano plastics on a wide variety of biological systems- and they indeed  appear to be endocrine disrupting.

However, there has remained a fundamental knowledge gap in nano plastics because of the lack of effective analytical techniques. The Columbia University study linked above  developed a powerful optical imaging technique for rapid analysis of nano plastics with never before seen sensitivity and specificity. As a demonstration, micro-nano plastics in bottled water were analyzed with profiling of individual plastic particles.

The researchers searched for seven specific plastics in three “popular brands” of bottled water (they declined to name which ones), analyzing plastic particles down to just 100 nanometers in size. They spotted 110,000 to 370,000 particles in each liter, 90% of which were nano plastics; the rest were microplastics. They were also able to determine  which of the seven specific plastics they identified.

One common nano plastic founde was polyethylene terephthalate or PET. This is what many water bottles are made of so finding it was not suprising. (It is also used for bottled sodas, sports drinks and condiments such as ketchup and mayonnaise.) It probably gets into the water as bits slough off when the bottle is squeezed or gets exposed to heat. One recent study suggests that many particles enter the water when you repeatedly open or close the cap, and tiny bits abrade.

However, the number of particles of PET was outnumbered by polyamide, a type of nylon. Ironically, the scientists believe, that probably comes from plastic filters used to purify the water before it is bottled. Other common plastics the researchers found: polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride and polymethyl methacrylate, all used in various industrial processes.

The seven plastic types the scientists searched for accounted for only about 10% of all the nanoparticles they found in samples; they have no idea (yet) what the rest are. If they are all nano plastics, that would mean that nano plastic particles could number in the tens of millions per liter.

The scientists plan to continue their work, with plans to look at tap water, which also has been shown to contain microplastics, though far less than bottled water according to a meta study by Isabella Gambino et al cited below  The researchers are now studying micro plastics and nano plastics generated when people do laundry, which end up in wastewater—so far, by a count of millions per 10-pound load, coming off synthetic materials that comprise many items of clothing.

The team will also identify particles in snow that British collaborators trekking by foot across western Antarctica  are currently collecting. They also are collaborating with environmental health experts to measure nano plastics in various human tissues and examine their developmental and neurologic effects. What we have done to our planet.

 

Gambino I, Bagordo F, Grassi T, Panico A, De Donno A. Occurrence of Microplastics in Tap and Bottled Water: Current Knowledge. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 26;19(9):5283. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19095283. PMID: 35564678; PMCID: PMC9103198.