8/24/2019 0 Comments
Scientists said they were shocked by a large number of particles found in the Arctic, more than 10,000 a liter. Even in the Arctic, microscopic plastic particles fall from the sky with snow.
This region is considered one of the last intact surroundings in the world. A German-Swiss team of researchers published the research in Science Advances. Other particles and fibers were also found in the snow.
Researchers collected samples of snow from Svalbard and found in a laboratory in Germany that it contained more particles than expected. Most particles were so small that it could not be determined where they came from. They have been found to consist of natural materials such as plant cellulose and animal fur. There were also plastic particles, along with fragments of rubber, varnish, paint, and synthetic fibers.
"We expected that we would find some contamination, but what we found so much was really a shock. It is obvious that the microplastics in the snow come from the air. We do not know whether plastics will be harmful to human health or not, but we must take into account the way we treat our environment, "said Dr. Melanie Bergman, lead researcher at the study.
Scientists also analyzed snow from locations in Germany and Switzerland, and samples from some areas taken in Germany showed higher concentrations than in the Arctic.