McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Mon, 07/15/2024 - 16:07

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.


Chemical Society Seminar: - Alex Laskin-Unrecognized Urban Source of Atmospheric Nanoplastic Particles

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 13:00to14:30
Maass Chemistry Building Room 10, 801 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0B8, CA


Nanoplastic particles are inadequately characterized environmental pollutants with significant adverse effects on aquatic and atmospheric systems. At present, it is explicitly assumed that environmental nanoplastics (EnvNP) are weathering fragments of microplastic or larger plastic debris discharged into terrestrial and aquatic environments, while atmospheric occurrence of EnvNP is solely attributed to aerosolization by wind and other mechanical forces. However, sources and emissions of unintended EnvNP are poorly understood and are therefore largely unaccounted for in various risk assessments. This presentation will show that large quantities of EnvNP may be directly emitted into the atmosphere by a commonly used technology to repair sewer pipes in urban areas. This presentation will highlight our multi-modal chemical characterization studies focused on the single-particle and molecular-level investigations of compositional variability of EnvNP emitted from this technology. We suggest that airborne emissions of EnvNP from these globally used sewer repair practices may be prevalent in highly populated urban areas. Airborne emissions of these EnvNP particles may have important implications on air quality and toxicological levels in large urban areas that need to be mitigated.



The research activities Dr. Laskin are focused on physical and analytical chemistry of complex environmental mixtures (i.e., atmospheric aerosols, microplastic, aquatic and soil pollution). His group investigates changes in chemical and physical properties of particles and colloids as they evolve due to their multi-phase reactions in laboratory and field experiments. Comprehensive characterization of particles using an array of complementary analytical techniques is essential to understand origin, fate and environmental impacts or particles. Research findings of his group obtained in laboratory and field studies are relevant to a number of issues related to environmental chemistry of atmosphere, aquatic and soil systems, as well as interactions between them.

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