[News] It's Snowing Microscopic Plastic Particles in Arctic

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 16 10:24:03 EDT 2019


  It's Snowing Microscopic Plastic Particles in Arctic

August 16, 2019

Winter is around the corner and with falling snowflakes come microscopic 
plastic particles, at least that’s what scientists say is happening in 
the Arctic right now in a new study published in the journal Science 

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Over 10,000 particles of plastic were found per liter of snow in the 
Arctic, the study conducted by a team of German-Swiss researchers said.

Rubber particles and fibres were also detected in the freshly fallen 
snow samples collected from the Svalbard islands using low-tech 
equipment: a spoon and a canning jar.

These were transported to the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, 
Germany. According to the study, the particles were so small, it was 
difficult to determine their origin. Traces of plastic, rubber, varnish, 
paint, and possibly synthetic fibers — all smaller than 5 mm — were 
found mixed with plant cellulose and animal fur.

"It's readily apparent that the majority of the microplastic in the snow 
comes from the air,” lead scientist Melanie Bergmann told BBC News.

"We expected to find some contamination but to find this many 
microplastics was a real shock," she said, adding that the team doesn't 
know "if the plastics will be harmful to human health or not. But we 
need to take much better care of the way we're treating our environment."

Other snow samples gathered from Germany and Switzerland show even 
higher concentrations of plastic than those from the Arctic.

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