ASU researchers find single-use contact lenses cause microplastic pollution
Silicone hydrogel enables contact lenses to be softer and provide more comfort for wearers. Soft contacts are also a popular choice because shorter wear times help reduce infection and other related health risks. But the large amounts of soft contacts that are disposed of by being flushed down drains are adding dramatically to plastics pollution that threatens the environment. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, postdoctoral researcher scholar Charles Rolsky and graduate research assistant Varun Kelkar did one of the first studies to confirm the scope of the problem and its significantly detrimental consequences.