Recently, there were two studies which were conducted by Scientists at the Université Paris-Est, and Kings College London. One study claims that breathing in both synthetic and natural ‘fibrous microplastics’ derived from textiles, especially through Yarns and Threads – have a severely damaging impact on human health.
Another study discovered that when inhaled or when experiencing long exposures, microscopic fibers are bio-persistent and extremely durable in a physiological fluid, with no dissolution or changes to the surface area.
These examinations call for greater collaboration between environmental, epidemiological and air quality communities, a focus on the length and diameter of these micro-fibers and how human exposure is like to these materials.
How do we solve this problem?
Choose From Natural Fabrics
As a solution to the dilemma, the majority can start wearing only natural fabrics—cotton, wool, hemp—but the fact is more than 60% of clothing includes synthetic cloth, and that market share is growing fast. Unless you convince everyone to wear natural fabrics made form high quality Yarns & Threads; you’re unlikely to solve the problem, even if your share is reduced to zero.
When they’re not necessary—a trip to the grocery store probably doesn’t require technical clothing. You can also wash synthetics less, or soak them in a mesh bag designed to trap microfibers. There is ease, and some designers think that through filters or detergents or other interventions that could mitigate the problem.
Are These Solutions Applicable?
Firstly, the problem with the adoption of these solutions is that they need to be universally adopted – which is practically impossible. Secondly, if you set to fix this on your own, it would be expensive. So, we are encouraged to continue looking for a more practical, upstream solution.
Built-in Washing Machine Filters
Built-in washing machine filters are proposed, but they will again, work if —adopted universally on a volunteer basis or by law—that would capture fibers during the wash, similar to a lint filter in a drying machine. Washing machine manufacturers have expressed both, technical and political concerns about these proposals: whether filters are sustainable enough to capture fibers to be able to process wastewater efficiently.