Viruses can hitchhike on microplastics – AustraliaPosted on November 10, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
Microplastics are not just tiny particles that can be ingested. They can also carry viruses, a University of Queensland study has revealed.
“We found that viruses can hitchhike on microplastics and prolong their infectivity. It means there could be an increased risk of virus transmission throughout waterways and the environment.”
By testing polystyrene particles of varying sizes, we found that more than 98 per cent of the virus we used was found on the microplastic, and over half of the viruses could still be detected ten days later – much longer than if the virus particles were free-floating in the water,” Dr Lu said.
The team also tested how sun exposure and the size of microplastics helped prolong the virus’s survival. They found the more environmental damage on the microplastic, the more likely it was to carry viruses.