The World has a Growing Plastics Problem - It's Snowing Microplastics in Siberia
As we have reported before, there is a growing global plastics problem, and microplastics are now showing up in some very unexpected places.
Illuminate: Plastic waste is everywhere on our planet now, from the deepest parts of our oceans to the tops of the highest mountains on earth. We are literally drowning in the stuff. It's polluting our oceans and rivers, filling our landfills and spoiling our beaches, and it's responsible for killing over 1 million marine animals each year including sea turtles, sharks, birds and fish. And, there is increasing evidence that it's impacting our health.
Small pieces of plastic, called "microplastics," are now routinely found in the food we eat and the water [and beer] we drink. And they have recently been found in human placentas.
There's no consensus yet on how toxic these microplastics are to humans, but many scientists are concerned about the long-term impact on our health.
Illuminate: "We do know "that plastics can contain a variety of toxic or endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as flame retardants, antimicrobial compounds, and bisphenol-A––an industrial chemical used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins." And, a recent study found that each one of us is consuming about 50,000 microplastic particles each year."
To make matters worse, all of us are now breathing microplastics and scientists are concerned about the long-term effects on our lungs.
And now Russian scientists have reported finding microplastics in the snow falling in the remotest parts of Siberia, far from where the plastic fibers originated.
Reuters: "Scientists at Tomsk State University (TSU) say they have gathered snow samples from 20 different Siberian regions - from the Altai mountains to the Arctic - and that their preliminary findings confirm that airborne plastic fibres are turning up in snow in remote parts of the wilderness."
We have quite a few environmental problems on our plate right now, climate change and biodiversity loss to name just two, but we need to address our growing plastic problem before it turns into another public health crisis.
Science Alert: "In light of this staggering accumulation of plastic particles in all environments on Earth, as well as concerning signs from animal toxicology studies, ecotoxicologists are calling for urgent investigations into the effects of microplastics on human health. This echoes calls from the World Health Organisation (WHO) back in 2019."
By: Don Lam & Curated Content