Electric clothes dryers source of microfiber pollution?

by   |  VIEW 401

Electric clothes dryers source of microfiber pollution?

Electric clothes dryers source of microfiber pollution? 35% of the micro-fragments of plastic that pollute the seas and oceans come from the washing of our clothing: synthetic clothing, which today accounts for 60% of global textile consumption, release large quantities of fibers.

Contaminating the food chain. According to IUCN, between 15% and 31% of the microplastics present in the oceans end up there directly in the form of fragments smaller than 5 millimeters, in one in four cases right through rivers.

The main source is washing in the washing machine: synthetic garments, which today represent 60% of global textile consumption, release large quantities of fibers, which from the domestic drain pass into purifiers. The article Electric clothes dryers: An underestimated source of microfiber pollution, published on PloS one, gives some interesting answers.

We can read: "Microplastics, particularly microfibers, are ubiquitous, found in aquatic (freshwater and marine) and terrestrial environments and within the food web worldwide. It is well-established that microplastics in the form of textile fibers enter the environment via washing machines and wastewater treatment effluent.

Less is known about the release of microfibers from electric clothes dryers. In this study we measure microfiber emissions from home installed dryers at two different sites. At each site the distribution of fibers landing on the snow's surface outside dryer vents and the weight of lint in dryer exhaust exiting dryer vents were measured.

Fibers from the pink polyester fleece blankets used in this study were found in plots throughout a 30ft (9.14m) radius from the dryer vents, with an average number across all plots of 404 ± 192 (SD) (Site 1) and 1,169 ± 606 (SD) (Site 2).

The majority of the fibers collected were located within 5 ft (1.52m) of the vents. Averages of 35 ± 16 (SD) mg (Site 1) and 70 ± 77 (SD) mg (Site 2) of lint from three consecutive dry cycles were collected from dryer vent exhaust.

This study establishes that electric clothes dryers emit masses of microfiber directly into the environment. Microfiber emissions vary based on dryer type, age, vent installation and lint trap characteristics. Therefore, dryers should be included in discussions when considering strategies, policies and innovations to prevent and mitigate microfiber pollution. "