detect and quantify microplastics

In Octo-M Technologies we pursue the most difficult challenges related to monitoring water quality and cleanliness. We are a team of scientists and engineers passionate about nature. We are tackling one of the major  human provoked environmental catastrophes, microplastics. We develop advanced technologies for sample collection, separation, counting and mapping of microplastics.

Microplastics

Microplastics are plastic particles that have degraded and sheared off to sizes less than 5 mm in  length. Microplastics have been found in oceans, lakes, rivers, drinking water and air. Due to their nature, microplastics can go up the food chain and  provoking health hazards in marine animals and humans

Dangerous to the Environment?

It  is  estimated that 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year [1]. Those get sheared and break into smaller particles. Microplastics can reduce the health of small species such as zooplankton [2] and mussels [3]  and cause  trophic transfer of contaminants to predators. Microplastics have been found in the gut of fish [4], birds [5] and worms [6]. Reduced health of smaller microorganisms has an irreparable impact on ecosystems.

Dangerous to Humans?

Humans consume about the size of a credit card in weight of plastic per week [8], (21 grams/month and about 250 grams/year).  Sources of microplastic ingestion include tap water  (94.4 % of water samples contained plastic fibres in the US and 72.2 % in Europe  [8]), seafood, fibres released from clothes and others. Plastic residuals have been found on a human placenta, suggesting the existence of microplastics in our bloodstream [7]. Although the health hazards have not been identified yet, it does not mean there are no effects on human health.

How can we help?

  1. J.R. Jambeck, R. Geyer, C. Wilcox, T.R. Siegler, M. Perryman, A. Andrady, R. Narayan, K.L. Law, Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean, Science (80-. ). 347 (2015) 768 LP – 771. DOI: 10.1126/science .1260352
  2. Matthew Cole, Pennie Lindeque, Elaine Fileman, Claudia Halsband, Rhys Goodhead, Julian Moger, and Tamara S. Galloway. Environmental Science & Technology 2013 47 (12), 6646-6655. DOI: 10.1021/es400663f
  3. Mark A. Browne, Awantha Dissanayake, Tamara S. Galloway, David M. Lowe, and Richard C. Thompson. Environmental Science & Technology 2008 42 (13), 5026-5031. DOI: 10.1021/es800249a
  4. Derraik, J. G. B. The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 2002, 44 (9), 842–852.
  5. Van Franeker, J. A. Plastic Ingestion in the north Atlantic fulmar. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 1985, 16 (9), 367–369.
  6. Carpenter EJ, Anderson SJ, Harvey GR, Miklas HP, Peck BB. Polystyrene spherules in coastal waters. Science. 1972 Nov 17;178(4062):749-50. doi: 10.1126/science.178.4062.749. PMID: 4628343.
  7. A. Ragusa, A. Svelato, C. Santacroce, P. Catalano, V. Notarstefano, O. Carnevali, F. Papa, M.C.A. Rongioletti, F. Baiocco, S. Draghi, E. D’Amore, D. Rinaldo, M. Matta, E. Giorgini, Plasticenta: First evidence of microplastics in human placenta, Environ. Int. 146 (2021) 106274.
  8. Dalberg.No plastic in Nature: Assessing plastic ingestion from nature to people. WWF..New Castle. 2019. https://wwwwwfse.cdn.triggerfish.cloud/uploads/2019/06/dalberg-advocacy-analysis_for-web.pdf