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Microplastics Watershed Scale Environmental Fate Model

Development of a digital microplastics environmental fate model

  • Netherlands


Monitoring microplastics in our watersheds

The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETMRA) wanted to evaluate the freshwater fate and transport of microplastics. To help, they reached out to our ChemRisk scientists to conceive, manage, and provide technical oversight of the study.

As part of the project, we conducted a literature review, developed an integrated modeling methodology, and coordinated an integrated modeling effort and sensitivity analysis. The modeling effort focused on tire and road wear particles (TRWP) transport in the Seine and Scheldt watersheds and represents one of the first microplastic freshwater mass balance assessments. The model development and sensitivity analysis demonstrated the use of mass flow and balance models to support microplastics product sustainability assessments.

This study provided one of the first examples of a linked release and environmental distribution model at a watershed scale. The results were published in peer reviewed scientific journal articles and proved to be informative to the development of the European Union’s plastics strategy.

At a Glance

Meet Our Team

Kenneth Unice, Principal Health Scientist

My goal is to promote safe use and management of the myriad substances that enable modern society and responsible use of energy.

Kenneth Unice

Principal Health Scientist

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