Report: New York’s Hudson River Dumps 300 Million Clothing Fibers Into the Ocean Daily
Report: New York’s Hudson River Dumps 300 Million Clothing Fibers Into the Ocean Daily.
Textile pollution has been among the industry’s biggest problems—but it may be that the industry doesn’t grasp quite how big the problem is.
After surveying the entire 315 miles of the Hudson in search of microfibers, researchers found them throughout the length of the river and uncovered 233 microfibers in 142 samples, or about one microfiber per liter of water.
Fifty percent of the found fibers were plastic and the other half were fibers spun from things like cotton or wool.
Most of the dumped fibers are coming from laundry runoff dumped into the waterway.
“There was no pattern across the whole Hudson River—from Lake Tear of the Clouds, an alpine remote beauty, down to the heaving, thriving Manhattan,” said Rachael Miller, study co-author and director of the Rozalia Project, which is working to curb microfiber in laundry wastewater.
Clothing sheds fibers into the air just in everyday use, and much of that ends up in waterways too.
Though scientists aren’t yet sure just how these fibers move through the air and into water sources, some believe ground runoff could have something to do with it.
Only in understanding what those are, are we in a good position of coming up with solutions,” Tim Hoellein, an aquatic ecologist at Loyola University who was not involved in the study, told PBS.
Hoellein in 2014 found that the microbeads that came in beauty and cleaning products were polluting wastewater, which led President Obama to ban the use of microbeads in these products.