Our scientists have a deep understanding of polymer manufacturing and use, and have evaluated a wide range of consumer products with polymer constituents, potentially detectable as microplastics in the environment or food. Some of our professionals are international authorities on the development and application of estimating or predicting possible chemical exposure from various consumer products. Our experience with polymer-related environmental or human health risk assessments includes rubber and plastic materials, polymer functional components (e.g., metals, phthalates, and perfluorinated compounds), and nanomaterials state of knowledge assessment.

Our staff have significant professional experience in evaluating the possible hazards and exposures posed by chemicals in virtually every consumer product media and category. We are ideally poised to anticipate what regulatory agencies, NGOs, lawyers, and members of the public will expect from producers and sellers of the entire spectrum of food and consumer products. Our experience serving as experts to government agencies, in state and federal courts, and on international science advisory panels, gives us considerable insight regarding the known or anticipated health and environmental hazards posed by chemicals. With our combined experience in microplastics exposure and risk assessment, as well as particle and polymer science, Cardno ChemRisk can offer expertise in providing state-of-the-knowledge assessment, applied research management, regulatory agency interaction, mass balance and environmental fate analysis, risk assessment, and public outreach and risk communication.

Project Example: Development of a Microplastics Watershed Scale Environmental Fate Mode

Project Overview: Cardno ChemRisk scientists were retained to conceive, manage and provide technical oversight of a study evaluating the freshwater fate and transport of microplastics on behalf of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETMRA).

Our Approach: The project consisted of a literature review, integrated modeling methodology development, and the coordination of an integrated modeling effort and sensitivity analysis. The modeling effort characterized tire and road wear particles (TRWP) transport in the Seine and Scheldt watersheds, and represents one of the first microplastic freshwater mass balance assessments.

Our Value: The model development and sensitivity analysis demonstrated the use of mass flow and balance models to support microplastics product sustainability assessments. The studies provided one of the first examples of a linked release and environmental distribution model at a watershed scale, and were published in peer reviewed scientific journal articles.