Lake Erie Plastic Pollution Study - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Lake Erie Plastic Pollution Study

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We have all heard about plastic pollution in the world's oceans. But a new study at an area university shows it is also a real problem in Lake Erie.

 Dr. Sherri Mason of SUNY-Fredonia led the study last summer, with students sailing on Erie's Flagship Niagara. The students took 21 samples around the Great Lakes, including 8 samples in Lake Erie. They found tiny, micro-particles of plastic in every sample.

 Scientists think some of the problem can be traced to the breakdown of larger pieces of plastic. But they think most of the pollution comes from tiny plastic beads found in many exfoliates.

 Dr. Mason said, "The primary source is actually consumer products, namely things like facial cleansers that use plastic beads as exfoliates."

 The researchers say the tiny plastic particles are dangerous because they can be eaten by tiny organisms that are eaten by fish and birds.

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