From jeans fibers to arctic waters, research finds

(Toronto) New study suggests washing jeans can contribute to pollution in Canadian waters – up to the Arctic.

Posted September 2, 2020 at 12:39 PM

The Canadian Press

Researchers at the University of Toronto say they have discovered microfibers bonded to jeans in aquatic environments ranging from shallow peri-urban lakes in southern Ontario to the Great Lakes – and even in the Arctic Archipelago.

Their results, published Wednesday in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, suggest that between 12% and 23% of the microfibers in the sampled sediments could be identified as “indigo denim.”

Co-author Sam Athey, a doctoral student in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Toronto, says more research is needed to understand the impact of denim-related microfibers on marine life.

But Professor Miriam Diamond is already concerned about the presence of these man-made particles in waters so far from their source – the population that wears jeans.

Researchers have found that jeans can release about 56,000 microfibres per wash. They suggest that denim aficionados try to wear their jeans for as long as possible before washing them.

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