17th May

Team Groningen presents - Breathing & Releasing Microplastics with guest speakers: Barbro Melgert & Francesca de Falco

Tonight's event will host two speakers sharing their insight on how microplastics are pervasive throughout our daily lives

Barbro Melgert: Fluffy and persistent: what may textile microfibers do to our lung?
We inhale microplastic fibers originating from our clothes and textiles on a daily basis, but we do not know if this is cause for concern. In this talk, Dr Barbro Melgert will present pioneering studies using lungs-in-a-dish, also known as organoids, investigating effects of textile microfibers on lung tissue. Results suggest that the soft and fluffy synthetic textiles that we massively use these days, may have the potential to damage our lungs. Future studies need to assess and quantify microplastic fibers that we inhale daily to determine the actual risk to human health. Dr Barbro Melgert is currently working as an associate professor at the Department of Molecular Pharmacology (RUG) studying innate immunity, including macrophage behavior, in lung diseases and its potential as therapeutic target. In this context she has a special interest in effects of indoor air pollution, such as microplastics exposure, and its effects on the lung.

Francesca de Falco: Releasing Microplastics by washing and everyday use
Dr Francesca De Falco is the second speaker of the evening. In her lecture she will explore the release of microfibres from synthetic clothes to water by washing and to air by wearing. During her talk she will highlight factors of influence and possible mitigation actions.
Francesca De Falco is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth, working in the research group led by prof. Richard C. Thompson. She holds a PhD in Materials Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II, with a thesis on microplastic pollution from synthetic textiles. She has worked as researcher at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IPCB), and has been an external consultant for the OECD on an upcoming report on microfibres.

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