Microplastics Health Effects Webinar Series

Hosted by: SCCWRP, San Francisco Estuary Institute and University of Toronto

In coordination with the State of California Water Resources Control Board and the California Ocean Protection Council

Human and Ecological Health Effects of Microplastics in Water: Characterizing Current Knowledge and Identifying Research Priorities


In 2018, the California Legislature adopted a pair of bills that require the State to begin building microplastics management strategies for both drinking water and California’s coastal ocean and estuaries. Senate Bill 1422 requires the California State Water Resources Control Board to develop plans for measuring microplastic particles in drinking water by 2021. Senate Bill 1263 requires the California Ocean Protection Council to adopt and implement a statewide strategy for lessening the ecological risks of microplastics to coastal marine ecosystems.

SCCWRP is working with international experts in microplastics and environmental managers across the state to help provide a scientific foundation for these legislative mandates.

First, SCCWRP is coordinating a microplastics measurement evaluation study that will aid in the decision for selecting methods. This study was designed following a Microplastics Measurement Methods Workshop in spring 2019.

Second, SCCWRP will host a Microplastics Health Effects Workshop in which an international group of experts will convene to identify the primary pathways by which microplastics affect biota, prioritize the microplastics characteristics (e.g., size, shape, polymer) that are of greatest biological concern, and identify critical thresholds for each at which those biological effects become pronounced. The first step in the health effects identification process involves a series of discussions – this webinar series – during which microplastics experts from around the world will summarize current knowledge and discuss the latest findings regarding microplastics toxicity. Representatives from the State Water Resources Control Board and the Ocean Protection Council will also share their perspectives about how such science will be used in meeting the legislative mandates.

Information for the Webinar Series

This webinar series is open to the public, with the intent of informing the community (e.g., scientists, environmental managers, stakeholders) about the latest scientific developments regarding the potential health effects of microplastics. The webinars will take place as a series of five sessions from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) every Monday from October 19 to November 16, 2020:

DateEventSupporting Documents
October 19, 2020Webinar: Management PerspectivesPowerPoints for guest speakers
Introduction (Weisberg)
State Water Board (Coffin)
California Ocean Protection Council (Gold)
Canada's Approach (Lemieux)
Video recording of webinar
October 19, 2020 video recording
October 26, 2020Webinar: Summarizing Existing KnowledgePowerPoints for guest speakers
Introduction and Summary (Weisberg)
Drinking Water Modes of Impact (Wright)
Aquatic Ecosystem Modes of Impact (Rochman)
Risk Assessment (Koelmans)
Video recording of webinar
October 26, 2020 video recording
November 2, 2020Webinar: Taking on DiversityPowerPoints for guest speakers
Prioritizing Chemical Properties for Assessing Toxicity (Gouin)
Influence of Particle Chemistry on Uptake, Transport and Toxicity (Bouwmeester)
Probabilistic Assessment of Exposure, Effect and Risk (Koelmans)
Video recording of webinar
November 2, 2020 video recording
November 9, 2020Webinar: Newest Research on Health EffectsPowerPoints for guest speakers
Uptake and Effects Following Ingestion (Stock)
Effects of Associated Chemicals (Wagner)
Effects in Lower Trophic Organisms (Cole)
Video recording of webinar
November 9, 2020 video recording
November 16, 2020Webinar: Moving ForwardPowerPoints for guest speakers
Effects across Biological Levels of Organization (Brander)
Anticipating and Adapting to Industry Changes (Galloway)
Video recording of webinar
November 16, 2020 video recording


For more information about this webinar series, contact Dr. Leah Thornton Hampton.