Media Room


Microplastic and nanoplastic particles are found almost everywhere in the environment. Inevitably, global concerns are emergent due to the unknown implications for human health and diverse ecosystems.



Microplastics encompass an array of plastic-derived materials with differing shapes, sizes, chemical compositions, densities and colors. Despite a lack of uniform scientific definition, they are often described as plastic particles smaller than 5mm in length.1 This is subjective due to inter-changeable upper and lower limits of analytical detection depending upon several factors. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on microplastics in drinking water.2 They concluded that limited data is available, and more investigational work is required to determine the complete impact that microplastics and nanoplastics elicit upon human health from other sources, as opposed to drinking water alone. More recently, California is aiming to produce the world’s first guidelines on microplastics in drinking water, under the provision that the U.S State’s Water Control Board can issue a health-based threshold and standard testing methods by July 1st.3     


Agilent Solutions

Agilent provides solutions for the detection and analysis of microplastics. Infrared (IR) imaging provides the opportunity to simultaneously identify the shape, size, and characterization of microplastics; something that is lacking in many other analyzation techniques. In addition, Agilent offers both benchtop and portable handheld solutions to analyze microplastics onsite in the environment enabling immediate and real-time information.


1) Eerkes-Medrano D, Thompson RC and Aldridge DC (2015). Microplastics in freshwater systems: a review of the emerging threats, identification of knowledge gaps and prioritisation of research needs. Water Research, 75:63–82. doi: 10.1016/j. watres.2015.02.012.

2) Microplastics in drinking-water.pdf

3) California release guideline on microplastics | Aquatech (