Important professional and communication success: our laboratory is included in the June issue of the prestigious magazine.

WESSLING in the printed issue of National Geographic

An article on the research of WESSLING, titled Microplastics, macroscopic has been included in the latest issue of National Geographic. The magazine analyzing thoroughly the global threat posed by plastics also reports the results of the microplastics survey of domestic surface waters. It is considered a great success that our article on the topic has been included in the magazine, and that the name WESSLING has been mentioned several times.

„One hundred and fifty years ago, a lightweight, strong, low-cost material was invented. Each year, about eighty million tons of it finds its way into the oceans and seas. Roughly two fifths of the amount produced is used only once, and then it is immediately becomes garbage” – reads one of the articles in National Geographic. In the June issue of the prestigious magazine, it undertakes the not insignificant task of collecting the most important information regarding the global presence and risks of plastics. As the editor-in-chief of the Hungarian version puts it: „plastic pollution, with great difficulty, probably can still be redressed”.

For this reason, the June issue reviews fast-growing plastic production, plastic pollution of the Earth’s seas is described, its impact on wildlife, and possibilities of recycling are discussed.

The microplastic content of the river Tisza was first measured by the independent laboratory WESSLING Hungary Kft. in 2016. According to the results, there were 4.9 particles with sizes between 300 micrometers and 2 mm per cubic meter, and 62.5 particles in the 15 to 300 micron range in the Tisza.

Staff members of the laboratory explain in the magazine how microplastics are produced and what kind of risk they pose to wildlife. The tiny particles can enter the food chain as well, and so pollutants adsorbed on microplastics (polyaromatic hydrocarbons, drug residues) can enter the bodies of living organisms in a concentrated form.

Recently, the researchers from the laboratory decided to continue the survey of the microplastic levels of domestic surface waters, therefore, in cooperation with the authorities, professional organizations and a science-promoting center (OVF, MAVÍZ, PET Cup, CSOPA), this year the Danube and its tributaries will be tested.

During the Tiny Plastic Puzzle project, microplastic concentrations of the Bükkös stream, and the rivers Ipoly, Rába and Danube will be measured. Results will be reported on the website, where the first knowledge base in Hungary on microplastics has also been created, filling a gap.

The first results will be published by the Tiny Plastic Puzzle project at the end of June.