Shaw Institute

Founded in 1990 by Dr. Susan Shaw, the Shaw Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization which aims to discover environmental health threats and expose these hazards to the public and to policymakers. The organization is a pioneer in the field of ocean pollution research, as well as in that of sentinel species, flame retardants, plastics, and climate change. The Shaw Institute uses innovative science and strategic partnerships to improve human and environmental health; its discoveries so far have informed and shaped public opinion as well as key pieces of legislation. The Institute has pioneered microplastics research in the Gulf of Maine and recently published a major article on microplastic fiber uptake, ingestion, and egestion rates in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis).

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Other notable research into plastics-related human exposure includes studies of PBDE flame retardants (additives in plastic foam) in fish, the health effects of indoor contaminants from synthetic fibers, and the occupational exposure to carcinogens produced by indoor burning of plastics among firefighters. The Shaw institute is dedicated to informing and educating, and its specialty in human exposure as well as in plastics and microplastics will be an invaluable addition to the Plastic Health Coalition.

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