Impacts of Microplastics in the Urban Environment Regional Conference

Project Details


Abstract: Significant public health and environmental concerns are posed by the extensive production and pervasive use of plastics, plasticizers and the lack of consistent product stewardship based on life-cycle analysis (manufacturing to disposal). The planned conference Impacts of Microplastics in the Urban Environment Regional Conference, to be held at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) in November 2018, will bring together researchers and students from multiple disciplines who are investigating the effects of freshwater environmental microplastic pollution on human and environmental health risks. Participants at the 1½-day conference will include academic researchers, representatives of industry and water treatment operators, policy and regulatory representatives, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Speakers and interdisciplinary panels will discuss topics ranging from the extent of microplastic pollution, source identification, exposure assessment, toxicology, chemical characterization, analytic methods, alternative products, engineering solutions, and public health concerns. Student registration fees will be covered and they will be encouraged to submit posters on plastic-related research. The conference proceedings and talks will be made available to the public and researchers through web based outlets and a white paper will be written summarizing the current state of the science and data gaps. Conference organizers will collaborate with Rutgers Diversity office, faculty and NGOs that support minority communities to increase participation by underrepresented populations and students underrepresented in STEM fields. The conference will provide support services for attendees who require childcare and/or adult day care facilities in close proximity to the meeting location. Conference support will be provided by a professional videographer who will produce a web version of the events, the Rutgers University Conference Center that will provide the necessary facilities and conference equipment, the Cook Douglas Health Center (facilities for childcare) and Just Home Medical Adult Day (facilities for adult day care). A joint consensus declaration developed at the end of the conference will include: (1) a preliminary Hazard Assessment as to the public health concerns from these novel plastic particles based on size and composition (2) chemical/microbial associated data and analytical approaches (3) feasibility of developing a standardized chemical library for fingerprinting plastic types, (4) discussions on new products being developed by industry as substitutes (5) management and policy recommendations for state and regional governments and (6) identification of data gaps needed to be addressed.
Effective start/end date8/1/187/31/19


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: $12,000.00


  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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