It’s Raining and Snowing Plastic

People are likely to be breathing in microplastics from the air

Plastic was identified in more than 90 per cent of rainwater samples taken from across Colorado, State of US, a new study has found.

Atmospheric wet deposition samples were collected using the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) at eight sites (see map) in the Colorado Front Range.

The plastic materials were mostly fibers that were only visible with magnification, approximately 20–40 times (X). Fibers were present in a variety of colors; the most frequently observed color was blue followed by red>silver>purple>green> yellow>other colors.

More plastic fibers were observed in samples from urban sites than from remote, mountainous sites.

Even in the Arctic, microscopic particles of plastic are falling out of the sky with snow, a study has found.

The scientists said they were shocked by the sheer number of particles they found: more than 10,000 of them per litre in the Arctic.

The researchers collected samples of snow in flasks

It means that even there, people are likely to be breathing in microplastics from the air – though the health implications remain unclear.

A German-Swiss team of researchers has published the work in the journal of Science Advances, saying that they also found rubber particles and fibres in the snow.

The region is often seen as one of the world’s last unspoiled environments.

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