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Published on Thursday, 08 March 2018

Study sheds new light on textile microfibre pollution

Written by John Mowbray

By M.Danny25 , Wikimedia Commons

RALEIGH – A brand new study on textile microfibre pollution, which has not yet been published, has found that cotton and rayon (viscose) fabrics release more of these minute, problematic fibres during laundering than polyester textiles; but it was also found that in a wastewater treatment situation, the biodegradation of natural textile fibres is markedly more rapid than that of synthetics.

The new study, which sets out to measures the quantity of microfibres shed from textiles when laundering cotton, polyester, viscose (rayon) and cotton blended knits, was carried out under carefully controlled accelerated laundering conditions using an SDL Atlas Launder-Ometer along with home laundering studies using a Whirlpool washing machine and dryer.

Yarns used in these experiments were then exposed to bio-solids from local wastewater treatment plants to assess their biodegradability.