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In this month’s issue of Highways Magazine, Jo Bradley, Market Development Manager at SDS Limited, discusses new research into the dangers of microplastics from road run-off.

Jo writes: “For most of us, checking our tyre tread wear is a familiar routine – but have you ever stopped to consider where all that lost rubber ends up? It must go somewhere – and if you haven’t given it a second thought until now, you won’t be alone.

Pervasive microplastic pollution, including from highways, could turn out to be one of the biggest environmental elephants in the room. The trouble is, very little is known about where and how microplastics build-up, where they come from and how they are transported through the river system to the sea.

The article continues: “That’s why unprecedented new research into microplastic contamination from the University of Manchester is so important. A team led by Dr Rachel Hurley discovered the highest microplastic pollution levels yet recorded in river bed sediments anywhere in the world on an otherwise unremarkable river in a highly-populated urban location in Manchester.

Their new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience in March, also clearly demonstrated how high concentrations of microplastic pollution were flushed out into the sea after the 2015 Boxing Day floods.”

Continue reading.