California develops definition for microplastics

State Water Resource Control Board for the U.S. state of California publishes draft definition for microplastics in drinking water, criteria include having at least 2 dimensions in 1 – 5,000 µm range; public comments accepted until April 24, 2020

JRC study to harmonize microplastics measurements

European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) launches inter-laboratory study to measure microplastics in water; will send spiked samples to 130 laboratories, evaluate their independent measurement results, identify methods to further harmonize

National Academies workshop on microplastics

U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hold two-day workshop on emerging technologies to advance microplastics research, address environmental health questions; recorded speaker presentations and other information now available

EFSA scientific colloquium on micro, nano plastics in food

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to host meeting focusing on coordinated approach to assessing human health risks of micro and nanoplastics in food on June 8-9, 2020 in Lisbon; call for abstracts open until January 31, 2020

WHO calls for expert consultation on future microplastics report

World Health Organization announces expert consultation meeting March 2-3, 2020 in Geneva to inform new report on human health risks from exposure to microplastics in environment; applications due January 19, 2020

Screw caps a source of microplastics

Scientists find increased release of microplastic particles after repeated open/close cycles in screw-cap plastic bottles, no release from bottle walls; call for more research on degradation of food contact plastics

Letter urges EU ministers to reject microplastics restriction

34 NGOs and alliances recommend environment ministers reject ECHA’s current proposed restriction on microplastics, cite concerns over exceptions included for biodegradable microplastics and exceptionally long transition periods

Plastic Health Summit talks published

Event brings together scientists and advocates to discuss latest research on micro- and nanoplastics, plastic additives, and health; presentations recorded and now publicly available

Recommendations for improving microplastics research

Marine biologist criticizes inconsistencies and unrealistic techniques used to study microplastic pollution; recommends avoiding nets for sampling, microscopes for counting; promotes using non-spherical microplastics and allowing time for elimination; researchers should focus on quality over quantity

Study finds microplastics harm immune cells

Researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht observe that immune cell death rate triples after contact with microplastics; presents results at Plastic Health Summit in Amsterdam on October 3, 2019