UWS Awarded Grant for Lake Superior Microplastics Research

SUPERIOR, Wis. – A UW-Superior professor has been awarded more than $40,000 to study microplastics in the St. Louis River and Lake Superior.

The grant is from the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin. It awarded research money to three UW campuses: Madison, Eau Claire, and Superior.

UWS students and chemistry professor Lorena Rios will use the grant money to study how microplastics from places like industrial waste and personal care products end up in bodies of water like Lake Superior and how they harm the environment.

“The lakes are our source for fresh water and it’s surrounded for a lot of people and the plastic can absorb toxic compounds in the surface, and these compounds can produce cancer, can be endocrine disruptors,” explained Rios.

She tells us microplastics are not naturally broken down so they can last forever in nature.

She encourages people to avoid using plastic whenever possible.

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