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Textile derived microfiber release: Investigating the current evidence base

Textiles-derived microfibre pollution encompasses all fibres less than 5mm in size, which are formed and shed during the processing, production, use and disposal of textiles. Their presence has been recorded in both terrestrial and aquatic environments as a proportion of airborne dust and waterborne microplastics, and additionally as a hazard in textile manufacture. However, many of these observations in the environment to date have been incidental, and studies of their formation and shedding have been biased toward synthetic fibres. The effect in terms of quantitative environmental impact metrics such as ecotoxicity has not been determined, so although it is possible to estimate the volume of microfibres produced, it is not currently possible to quantify the true effect they may have.