OSLO, May 8 (Xinhua) -- An institute in western Norway has opened the first microplastics laboratory in the Nordic region that will research how microplastics affect the environment and food security, public broadcaster NRK reported Wednesday.
After numerous scientific reports on microplastics in the air in recent years, the research center at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen will conduct deeper research on microplastics in human environment, the report said.
"Now we have a completely new laboratory with the most modern instruments. Thus, we can detect and determine the amount of the smallest microplastic particles in the food chain and in seafood," said Bjorn Einar Grosvik, research leader at IMR.
Nowadays there is not enough statistics that will show the degree of danger that microplastics pose to humans, something that the laboratory will try to answer, Grosvik added.
Among the most important instruments in the new lab is pyrolysis equipment, which allows the researchers to burn the tiny plastic pieces.
Afterwards researchers will analyze the smoke and exhaust gases in order to find out how microplastic pieces affect both the environment and food security, NRK reported.
Microplastic particles have been found in larger plastic products, such as car tires, plastic bags and shoe soles, but also as addition to some cosmetics and toothpaste types to provide scrubbing effect.
"First and foremost, we need more data. Other studies have already shown that microplastic is found in most places. Therefore, I do not ignore the fact that we can find more than what we were aware of in advance," Grosvik told NRK.