New Report: Laundry Releases Trillions of Plastic Microfibers Into the Ocean

New Report: Laundry Releases Trillions of Plastic Microfibers Into the Ocean

Canada NewsWire

Ocean Wise releases the most comprehensive study to date on the role of laundry in microfiber pollution. The study estimates that 878 tonnes of plastic microfibers are released from Canadian and U.S. household laundry through wastewater treatment plants every year. This is the equivalent weight of 10 blue whales collectively into rivers, lakes and oceans.

VANCOUVER, Oct. 15, 2019 /CNW/ – A new study demonstrates that the fight against ocean pollution begins at home.

With microplastic pollution now understood to be an emerging threat to ocean health, the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, investigated one of the potential sources of this problem. Authors Katerina Vassilenko, Mathew Watkins, Stephen Chastain, Anna Posacka and Peter Ross note that the loss of fibers by textiles during home laundry may explain in part the abundance of microfibers found in the ocean.

The report, entitled Me, My Clothes and the Ocean: The role of textiles in microfiber pollution, was produced with the support of four outdoor retailers – MEC, Patagonia, REI and Arc’teryx – and Metro Vancouver and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The most comprehensive study to date
With limited research on the propensity of textiles to shed during laundry, the researchers’ goal was to generate a wider dataset on the microfiber footprint of different fabrics. Over a two-year period, the Plastics Lab evaluated the shedding properties of 37 textile samples constructed with polyester, nylon, and natural and mixed fibers. The Plastics Lab team established a custom-designed washing machine test facility and a dedicated high-resolution analytical laboratory, both in Vancouver.

One of the key findings was the surprisingly wide range in shedding exhibited by different textiles tested during a single wash, reflecting variations in construction, yarn type, mechanical treatment and chemical treatment of each item. For example, mechanically-treated polyester fleeces and jerseys typically shed the most, whereas lightweight and durable nylon textiles shed the least. And while concerns linger regarding the emission of synthetic fibers through home laundry, even materials made with natural fibers such as cotton and wool released large amounts of microfibers.

In this study, the researchers estimate that the average household in Canada and the U.S. releases 533 million microfibers – or 135 g – from laundry into the wastewater treatment system every year. Following wastewater treatment, that adds up to a collective release by households in both countries of 3.5 quadrillion (3.5 x 1015) microfibers – or 878 tonnes – to the aquatic environment (freshwater and ocean). That’s the equivalent weight of 10 blue whales – every year.

“Our overall hope is that these findings provide a conduit to solutions at multiple levels,” said Dr. Peter Ross, the Vice-President of Research at Ocean Wise and one of the authors of the report. “These results illustrate the important role that we can all play in implementing solutions through the decisions we make as consumers, the green design options we choose as manufacturers, the designs we employ as wastewater treatment engineers, and the initiatives we lead as policymakers in government.”

Microplastics are mistaken for food in the ocean
This work is part of a wider Plastics Lab initiative to characterize the identity, fate and effects of microplastics in the world’s oceans. One of the major problems associated with microplastics is that they can be mistaken for food and ingested by biota, including zooplankton, fish and marine mammals.

How consumers can help
Apparel makers and retailers will benefit from this research as a foundation for designing textiles that are less prone to microfiber shedding. Consumers can also help reduce microfiber pollution in the following ways:

  1. Wash textiles less often
  2. Buy products designed to last and say “no” to fast fashion
  3. Use a front-loading washing machine
  4. Buy a lint trap for your washing machine
  5. Let clothing firms know that this is important to you the consumer, and ask that they design fabrics that shed less

Spokespeople: Dr. Peter S. Ross, Dr. Anna Posacka

About Ocean Wise and its Plastics Lab
Ocean Wise is a global conservation organization that is committed to improving the health of our oceans. Through aquariums, education, research and digital communications, we directly inspire tens of millions of people to take actions that will benefit our planet. The Ocean Wise Plastics Lab is a research facility based in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada, specializing in microplastic pollution science. Established in 2014, the Plastics Lab combines urban- and ocean-oriented study designs, laboratory testing and forensic instrumentation to address the sources, transport and fate of microplastics in aquatic environments. It partners with industry, government agencies, Indigenous communities and academic groups to research microplastic pollution and guide solutions. Its multi-disciplinary research team studies microplastics in home laundry machine effluent, seawater, municipal wastewater/sewage, zooplankton, mussels, fish, and the digestive tracts of marine mammals.

About the Microfiber Partnership
In 2017, the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab launched the Microfiber Partnership, a solution-oriented research initiative that brings together researchers, the apparel industry, and government agencies concerned about the sources and impacts of microfiber pollution in the ocean. Central to this research initiative was the design of a dedicated washing machine test facility, the development of new methods to sample liquid laundry effluent and municipal wastewater, and the characterization of microfiber samples using microscopic image analysis and Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) spectrometry. The Phase 1 research objectives of the Microfiber Partnership addressed three elementary topics:

  • Home laundry as a source of microfiber in the environment;
  • Retention, fate and discharge of microfibers in a secondary wastewater treatment plant;
  • Forensic methods for the identification of textile microfibers following weathering in air, seawater and wastewater.

Social Media: @OceanWise | #OceanWise

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Third-Party Study of FOHSE F1V 960W Fixture Finds Superior Grow Outcomes and Energy Efficiency

Third-Party Study of FOHSE F1V 960W Fixture Finds Superior Grow Outcomes and Energy Efficiency

Canada NewsWire

To assess how FOHSE’s LED grow lighting fixtures compare to the products of its competitors, a study was conducted by The Grove, a Las Vegas-based marijuana grower, in which two eighteen-plant plots were grown over a sixty-day period with one plot using FOHSE F1V 960W lighting, and the other using Heliospectra LX610 lighting. The results demonstrated that FOHSE F1V 960W produced 63% more flower weight, using 31% less electricity, and requiring only two-thirds of the amount of lighting units for the same amount of plants.

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 15, 2019 /CNW/ – FOHSE INC. (“Fohse” or the “Company”) has received results from a third-party study conducted by Las Vegas-based marijuana grower The Grove (, in which the performance of FOHSE’s F1V 960W LED grow lighting fixture was compared to that of the Heliospectra LX610 LED grow lighting fixture. It was concluded that the crop grown under FOHSE’s fixtures had a far greater yield, with higher THCa and terpene contents, and lower total electricity costs, among other benefits to marijuana cultivators. 


This study was conducted over a sixty-day period with The Grove’s award-winning Gorilla Glue #4 strain in eighteen-plant plots, at an average temperature of 82 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit, and with a lighting schedule in which grow lights were turned on and off for alternating twelve-hour periods. The study was led directly by Mike Howard, Head of Cultivation at The Grove. 

The quantitative results of the study are summarized in the table below:

Heliospectra LX610


Total Yield* (18 plants)

19.94 kg

32.45 kg

Average Yield / Ft2

213 g

338 g

Average Yield / Fixture

2.27 kg

5.41 kg

Average Yield / Label Watt

3.61 g

8.07 g

Average THCa Content



Average Terpene Content

9.20 mg/g

23.82 mg/g

Total Electricity Cost** (60 days, on for 12 hours per day)

US $1,092.33

US $774.45

* Total yield was calculated at the crop’s “wet weight”, to control for varying processing practices between different growers

** Total electricity costs were determined using the applied fixture wattages and the calculated HVAC load assuming commercial A/C units with an EER of 12. Cost per kWh is 12.5¢.

In comparison to the performance of the Heliospectra LX610 units, the FOHSE F1V 960W setup generated 63% more flower, with 31% less electricity use, and they required only two-thirds of the fixtures for the same number of plants. Additionally, under FOHSE’s standard operating procedure recommendations, the crop grown under FOHSE F1V 960W generated an average of 125% more THCa, and a 159% more potent terpene profile. Moreover, it was determined that the FOHSE F1V 960W had exceptionally better canopy coverage.

More information about the FOHSE F1V 960W can be viewed on the Company’s website:

FOHSE CEO Brett Stevens commented, “The main selling point for LED lighting in comparison to HPS lighting is efficiency, in that growers will use less electricity and realize a cost savings. However, as our clients have noticed, that is merely the tip of the iceberg. Well-engineered LED grow light fixtures can produce exceptional results when it comes to the size of a crop’s yield, or its properties such as THCa content and terpenes. We believe that a comparative study was necessary to show how the results of FOHSE’s products stack up against the competition, and we were quite pleased to see this significant of a difference. This tells us a lot about what we have been doing right in our product development, and we look forward to leveraging these results as part of our value proposition in the grow lighting marketplace.”

On behalf of the Company:
Brett Stevens, Chief Executive Officer 

For more information please contact:
Fohse Inc. 

About Fohse Inc.

With the demand for cannabis products continuing to grow, Fohse has been working hard to develop robust, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly grow lighting solutions. After years of research and development by some of the world’s foremost minds in horticultural science (including Chief Horticulturalist, Chris Sloper – who authored The LED Grow Book), Fohse has recently introduced a suite of hyper-efficient, high-output LED grow light fixtures to the marketplace. When properly implemented, Fohse’s LED lighting technologies can help indoor cultivators realize a 35% to 50% reduction in overall energy expenditures. Moreover, Fohse delivers value to its clients through specialized training in standard operating procedures for the use of its products, in the interest of optimized proficiency and maximized value to the customer.

More information about Fohse and its product line can be found at

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IT Security, Privacy and Data Management Ranked as Top Challenges Facing IT Audit Function, According to Survey from Protiviti and ISACA

IT Security, Privacy and Data Management Ranked as Top Challenges Facing IT Audit Function, According to Survey from Protiviti and ISACA

Canada NewsWire

Webinar today will share survey results and insights

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 15, 2019 /CNW/ — A new study examining the key challenges impacting IT audit professionals as they navigate an evolving risk landscape in an era of digital transformation is now available. The 2019 Global IT Audit Benchmarking Study is the eighth annual audit research project conducted by global consulting firm Protiviti and ISACA, a global association helping individuals and enterprises in the IT audit/assurance, governance, risk and information security space.

Based on a survey of 2,252 chief audit executives (CAEs), internal audit professionals and IT audit vice presidents and directors worldwide, the benchmarking study provides key takeaways, analysis and recommendations for business leaders. Respondents revealed the key technology challenges they face, including a dramatic increase in the importance of data and governance, the essential role of IT partnerships and the top skills they are seeking in their teams.

Top Technology Challenges
Asked to identify their biggest technology challenges, IT audit leaders and professionals noted the following as their top five:

  1. IT security and privacy/cybersecurity
  2. Data management and governance
  3. Emerging technology and infrastructure changes – transformation/innovation/disruption
  4. Staffing and skills challenges
  5. Third-party/vendor management

“As much as organizations are focusing on cybersecurity and protecting their data, they’re still behind given the changing landscape, growing sophistication of cyber criminals, evolving regulatory requirements such as GDPR and persistent gaps and process breakdowns that emerge as part of their ongoing transformation projects,” said Andrew Struthers-Kennedy, a Protiviti managing director and global leader of the firm’s IT Audit practice. “The bottom line is IT audit cannot let its guard down.”

Data Management and Governance Jumps to Second Most Important Challenge
Respondents indicated that data management and governance pose the second most critical challenge to their organizations, a significant jump from its number ten spot in the 2018 survey. As organizations seek to leverage data with technologies such as RPA, AI, machine learning and continuous auditing and monitoring, IT audit functions are becoming increasingly focused on evaluating risks associated with data collection, processing and reporting.

“There is considerable room for improvement in terms of the structure, quality and accuracy of the data available in most organizations. When an organization reaches higher levels of maturity related to data management and governance, it’s much more adept at not only avoiding downside risks but also taking advantage of the opportunities for using data as an enterprise-enabled and competitive differentiator,” said Struthers-Kennedy. “Data is the lifeblood for many organizations, so IT audit functions need to ensure that key aspects of data management are considered as part of every audit and review activity.”

Growing Importance of IT Partnerships
IT audit functions defined as ‘leaders’ in the report have significantly increased exposure to strategic activities within the organization, including being invited to participate in key IT department committees (e.g., IT governance and risk management, information security, IT strategy). Leaders also assess and identify technology risk on a more frequent, even continual, basis. Finally, leaders include cybersecurity in their plans on a more frequent basis than those who have lower levels of engagement and interaction with the IT department.

“One of the prominent themes in this year’s survey is the importance of partnership between audit and the IT function, which is particularly essential in the area of risk management,” said Robin Lyons, ISACA technical research manager. “As these two groups work together, risk management becomes a shared, real-time effort that reduces guesswork by IT audit as to which project challenges and risks truly exist.”

Lack of Skills and Resources is Pervasive Challenge
Organizations in every sector are experiencing a shortage of skills and resources today in IT audit. Of the surveyed organizations with revenues ranging from US$100 million to $1 billion, nearly a third (32%) are unable to address specific areas of the annual IT audit plan due to a lack of resources and skills. The survey revealed the top five skills most in demand are:

  • Expertise in advanced and enabling technologies (44%)
  • Critical thinking (32%)
  • Data science (27%)
  • Agile methodology (20%)
  • Communications expertise (17%)

As businesses continue their digital transformation journeys, the importance of focusing on data and technology by internal audit grows. The way internal auditors engage and partner with their stakeholders, the skills they develop and deploy as part of their activities, and the tools and technologies they are familiar with and adopt are all critical areas that require focus.

Survey Resources Available; Free Webinar on October 15
The in-depth survey report, including a detailed breakdown of benchmarking data by organi­zation size, region and more, is available for complimentary download from Protiviti here and from ISACA here, in addition to an infographic and short video highlighting key findings. A podcast featuring Lyons and Struthers-Kennedy discussing the study’s results is also available for download from the sites.

Additionally, today at 11:00 a.m. PDT, Protiviti will host a free 75-minute webinar to share takeaways from the survey featuring Samir Datt, a Protiviti managing director in the technology consulting practice, joined by Struthers-Kennedy and Lyons. To join the webinar, please register here.

About Protiviti
Protiviti ( is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Through its network of more than 85 offices in over 25 countries, Protiviti and its independently owned Member Firms provide clients with consulting solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal audit.

Named to the 2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Protiviti has served more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000® and 35 percent of Fortune Global 500® companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE:RHI). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.

Now in its 50th anniversary year, ISACA® ( is a global association helping individuals and enterprises achieve the positive potential of technology. ISACA equips professionals with the knowledge, credentials, education and community to advance their careers and transform their organizations. ISACA leverages the expertise of its 460,000 engaged professionals—including 140,000 members—in information and cyber security, governance, assurance, risk and innovation, as well as its enterprise performance subsidiary, CMMI® Institute, to help advance innovation through technology. ISACA has a presence in more than 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide and offices in both the United States and China.

Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

Editor’s note: an infographic of survey highlights (in PDF or JPEG formats) and photos available upon request.


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