Microplastic particles in textiles

Identifying sources of microplastic particles in everyday life

Global fashion trends and changing lifestyles have led to increased consumption of fashion, outdoor and sportswear, particularly in recent decades.

With devastating consequences for the environment: textiles are one of the main sources of microplastics directly entering the environment.

Synthetic fibers (e.g. polyethylene, polyamide or polyester) are released during the wearing and washing of clothing and end up in rivers, lakes and oceans via wastewater. The proportion of total microplastics (from textiles) entering the oceans is estimated to be between 20 and 35% – however, these figures have yet to be confirmed by studies.

The consequences of releasing synthetic fibers into the environment are serious for marine life. As the synthetic fibers do not decompose, they can form knots and obstructions in the digestive tract of animals, for example, causing internal damage - up to organ failure.

In order to reduce this negative environmental impact, manufacturers can take countermeasures during production, while researching and using alternative materials. On the other hand, governments and authorities should also issue stricter regulations and optimize wastewater filtration.

What consumers can do to combat microplastic pollution from textiles

Consumers can also play their part by taking the following points into consideration in their everyday lives:

  • Purchase products that are made from natural fibers so that microplastics are not created in the first place
  • Wash clothes less frequently
  • Use a low washing temperature and short washing cycles to reduce the formation of microfibers during the process of washing
  • Avoid using fabric softeners, as they increase abrasion
  • Separate the laundry not only according to washing temperature and color, but also according to fiber composition

i3 Membrane at analytica in Munich

analytica – the world's largest trade exhibition for analytics, laboratory technology and biotechnology – will take place in Munich from April 9 to 12, 2024.

We at i3 look forward to attending in order to present our microplastic filters i3 TrackPor PAR and i3 TrackPor PA as well as Agilent 8700 LDIR (a fast, automated solution for the identification, size measurement and semi-quantitative determination of smaller microplastic particles).

Are you also planning to be at analytica? Then please visit us at our Stand 223A in Hall A3.

Read more about

Learn more about microplastics in cosmetics Learn more about microplastics in food & beverage

Useful links

More information about the analytica | To the list of exhibitors
Microplastic analysis at the i3 | Get a membrane sample package directly

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