Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - 3:30pm


Nanoplastic particles are inadequately characterized environmental pollutants with significant adverse effects on aquatic and atmospheric systems. At present, it is explicitly assumed that environmental nanoplastics (EnvNP) are weathering fragments of microplastic or larger plastic debris discharged into terrestrial and aquatic environments, while atmospheric occurrence of EnvNP is solely attributed to aerosolization by wind and other mechanical forces. However, sources and emissions of unintended EnvNP are poorly understood and are therefore largely unaccounted for in various risk assessments. This presentation will show that large quantities of EnvNP may be directly emitted into the atmosphere by a commonly used technology to repair sewer pipes in urban areas. This presentation will highlight our multi-modal chemical characterization studies focused on the single-particle and molecular-level investigations of compositional variability of EnvNP emitted from this technology. We suggest that airborne emissions of EnvNP from these globally used sewer repair practices may be prevalent in highly populated urban areas. Airborne emissions of these EnvNP particles may have important implications on air quality and toxicological levels in large urban areas that need to be mitigated.


Alexander Laskin


Purdue University


RH 104