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Microplastics Now Circulating The Planet Like Oxygen And Water, Study Finds

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 18 Apr 2021 18:35
Microplastics Now Circulating The Planet Like Oxygen And Water, Study FindsPA Images

There’s no getting away from the fact that plastic pollution is a hot topic right now, with people all over the world considering what they can do to reduce their own contribution to the problem.

But, while we’ve recently become aware of many of the repercussions of our plastic-using habits, it turns out we’re consuming a lot more plastic than we might think.

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In fact, plastic pollution has become so bad that we’re actually inhaling microplastics in the air we breathe, according to a new study.

Ocean spray and road surfaces have sent plastic particles flying here, there and everywhere, to the point where researchers have found them in even the most remote spots on the planet.

PAPA Images

‘We found a lot of legacy plastic pollution everywhere we looked. It travels in the atmosphere and it deposits all over the world,’ explained Janice Brahney, a geological scientist from the Utah State University, as per Science Alert.

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‘This plastic is not new from this year. It’s from what we’ve already dumped into the environment over several decades.’

The study, which took place between December 2017 and January 2019, saw researchers collecting 313 samples of airborne microplastics from 11 different parts of the United States. Interestingly, an overwhelming majority of the microplastics (84%) came from road dust, while a further 11% came from sea spray and 5% from agricultural soil.

It seems, therefore, that plastic pollution isn’t just confined to urban areas and areas of high population. Instead, microplastic particles are finding their way across the globe, carried in the air and reaching the most remote places on Earth.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing on to UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Science, Plastic Pollution, Pollution

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Science Alert
  1. Science Alert

    Microplastics Are Now Spiralling Around The Globe in The Air We Breathe