In an article published on January 16, 2018, regulatory news provider Chemical Watch reported on a study published by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency calling for more analytical methods to accurately assess the problem of microplastic pollution. The study was conducted by the Danish Technological Institute together with environmental consultancy COWI. The report found that a standardized analytical method is needed to also measure the smallest microplastic particles. The most commonly used method for analysis is light microscopy which cannot analyze particles below 100 µm in size. Therefore, analysis often focuses on larger particles and the entire scope of the microplastic problem cannot be assessed.
Currently, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating the microplastic content in the country’s drinking water. For this, academic researchers are developing a reliable measuring method (FPF reported). German researchers have recently reported on microplastics in mineral water, using micro-Raman spectroscopy which allowed measuring particles sized below 20 µm (FPF reported). On January 16, 2018, the European Commission published its EU plastics strategy where future measures to restrict the intentional use of microplastics are planned (FPF reported).
Chemical Watch (January 16, 2018). “Danish study finds understanding of microplastics ‘extremely defective.’”
Danish Environmental Protection Agency (January 10, 2018). “Vi ved alt for lidt om mikroplast.” (in Danish)
Danish Environmental Protection Agency (2017). “Partnerskab om mikroplast i spildevand 2017.” (pdf; in Danish)