A team of scientists, in collaboration with Strategy Saint-Laurent and INRS, investigated the presence of nanoplastics in the St. Lawrence River. Although their research is still in the exploratory stage, this plastic marker was spotted in the volumes of water they collected.
Nanoplastic is a piece a thousand times smaller than a microplastic and is invisible to the naked eye, explains Julien Gigault, project manager at the National Research Center and assistant professor at Laval University, who specializes in the characterization of nanoparticles and the study of their behavior in the environment.
” We cannot quantify it, but we know it is there. “
Everything leads us to believe that they are very present in the St.Lawrence, but this is not a surprise, specifies Julien Gigault.
Concern for ecosystems
Julien Gigault says he is more or less worried about the presence of this plastic marker in the river, since on average human beings breathe more than 6 billion particles in a single day.
The dose that can be ingested via the St. Lawrence remains particularly low compared to what can be inhaled. Nanoparticles are an integral part of our system, he argues.
My concern comes mainly from their complexity, from the capacity they have to transport quantities of metals and pollutants, within them or on their surface over long distances. So our hypothesis, with my colleagues, is that these particles can disrupt what is called the natural cycle., develops the professor.
” For us, this is a matter of priority concern. “
For the moment, it is impossible for the team of researchers to say the quantity of these nanoparticles which is in the river.
Julien Gigault indicates that his team would like to expand its research territory over the entire St. Lawrence to the estuary, and even to go to the Far North, in order to compare the river and the waters of the Arctic.
According to a interview conducted by Guillaume Hubermont on the show Boreal 138