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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Hand washing releases less microfibers

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

Chinese scientists have proven that hand washing artificial fabrics releases much less microfibers

Chinese scientists have proven that hand washing synthetic fabrics releases far fewer microfibers than machine washing, reported Science Daily.

It is known that washing polyester and nylon releases many microscopic particles that pollute the environment and waters.

The amounts released by different fabrics have been studied, but most studies have been done with washing machines.

Experts from the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, the Chinese Natural Science Foundation and Hangzhou University studied two types of fabric, 100 percent polyester and 95 percent polyester plus 5 percent spandex, when hand-washed versus machine-washed.

Their results show that water contamination with microplastics when washing by hand is much less. For example, 100 percent polyester fabric releases an average of 1,853 particles when hand washed versus 23,723 when machine washed.

The particle weight is over five times greater when washing by machine than by hand.

Hand wash bristles are longer. Soaking clothes, more dust and using a board for better effect increase the released particles, but they still do not reach the amount typical of washing machines.

The temperature, the type of detergent, the washing time and the amount of water used do not significantly affect the amount of microplastic released when washing by hand.

The results may help to identify the sources of environmental pollution with plastic and may provide guidance for greener ways of doing laundry.

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