דוקטורנטים מספרים - Andrey Ethan Rubin
Micro and Nano Plastic in the Aquatic Environment and the Potential Threat for Human Health
Andrey Ethan Rubin
Supervisor: Dr. Ines Zucker
The presence of micro- and nano-plastic in the environment is being increasingly reported: in tap and bottled water, food, and even in air. Plastic particles have already been found in the snow at the North Pole and in the deep sea near Japan, and statistics show that by 2050 the number of plastic particles in the sea will be greater than aquatic species themselves. Many governmental organizations invest heavily in detection and estimation of potential environmental damage by plastic pollution. Despite the increasing concern, there is no solid evidence to show the potential harm of micro- and nano-plastics to our health. Furthermore, the limited toxicity studies that have been conducted in the field mostly use polymeric beads as a surrogate for micro- and nano-plastics, which have limited environmental relevance.
My Ph.D. study is related to three main goals: (1) to synthesize size-controlled and environmentally relevant plastic standards; (2) to assess their adsorption potential toward target aquatic organic and inorganic pollutants; and (3) to test their toxicity using a set of human cells (also in the presence of adsorbed pollutants).
Based on our study, other researchers in the field of micro and nano plastic will be able to improve their experimental procedures with environmental plastic standards. Governmental decisions related to plastic regulations will also be implemented in a more scientific manner - all in order to ultimately reduce the potential damage caused by plastic in the near future.