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Artificial Intelligence-Based Smart Solution to Reduce Respiratory Problems Caused by Air Pollution

Bhardwaj et al. | Dec 14, 2021

Artificial Intelligence-Based Smart Solution to Reduce Respiratory Problems Caused by Air Pollution

In this report, Bhardwaj and Sharma tested whether placing specific plants indoors can reduce levels of indoor air pollution that can lead to lung-related illnesses. Using machine learning, they show that plants improved overall indoor air quality and reduced levels of particulate matter. They suggest that plant-based interventions coupled with sensors may be a useful long-term solution to reducing and maintaining indoor air pollution.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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A Juxtaposition of Airborne Microplastics and Fiber Contamination in Various Environments

Truong-Phan et al. | Dec 04, 2020

A Juxtaposition of Airborne Microplastics and Fiber Contamination in Various Environments

Microplastics can have detrimental effects on various wildlife, as well as pollute aquatic and atmospheric environments. This study focused on air samples collected from five locations to investigate microplastic concentrations in atmospheric fallout from indoor and outdoor settings, through a process utilizing a hand-held vacuum pump and a rotameter. The authors found that the difference between the average number of microplastic fragments and fibers collected from all locations was not large enough to be statistically significant. The results collected in this study will contribute to knowledge of the prevalence of airborne microplastics.

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An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

Sanderson et al. | Sep 21, 2020

An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

This study is focused on the distribution of microplastics in Long Island, NY. Microplastics are plastic particles that measure less than 5 mm in length and pose an environmental risk due to their size, composition, and ubiquitous location in the marine environment. Focusing on the South Shore of Long Island, the authors investigated the locations and concentrations of microplastics at four locations along the shore line. While they did not find significant differences in the number of microplastics per location, there were microplastics at all four locations. This finding is important to drive future research and environmental policy as well.

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The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Zhang et al. | Nov 28, 2013

The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, compostable plastic that is comparable in cost to petroleum-based plastics. This study aims to evaluate the effects of UV treatment and mechanical chopping on the degradation of PLA. Based on their findings, the authors propose an alternative PLA degradation process that may be more time and energy efficient than current processes.

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