News Feature | April 15, 2021

Why Microplastics Are A Growing Threat To Wastewater Treatment Systems

Source: Aerzen
iStock-1184973301 (002)

Wastewater treatment plants may be on the way to becoming breeding grounds for some nasty stuff because of the abundance of microplastics, according to a new study.

Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have shown that microplastics can become 'hubs' for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens to grow once they wash down household drains and enter wastewater treatment plants — forming a slimy layer of buildup, or biofilm, on their surface that allows pathogenic microorganisms and antibiotic waste to attach and comingle. Some strains of bacteria elevated antibiotic resistance by up to 30 times while living on microplastic biofilms that can form inside activated sludge units at municipal wastewater

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