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Chemical study of LI Sound

Long Island Sound

Long Island Sound Photo Credit: Adam Richins

Titanium oxide, a commercial mineral used in welding and electronic components — and in aerospace paints — is under the microscope for its role in affecting the Long Island Sound's biofilm.

The biofilm is the slimy layer of organic and inorganic matter that floats atop the waters. Researchers from the University of New Haven are skimming the biofilm from waters off Port Jefferson and the Connecticut coast.

The researchers “view the slime, or biofilm, as a complex community that may hold the key to informing humanity of the true environmental impact of the chemical nanoparticles that find their way from area kitchens, baths and garages” — and manufacturing plants, into the Sound,  the university says.

Titanium oxide is used in a variety of consumer products, too, including toothpaste and sunscreen.

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