Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France's Pyrenees Mountains

Posted On: 2019-04-16 05:31:08

Surprisingly high amounts of microplastic are raining down on a remote and seemingly pristine part of France's Pyrenees mountains, according to scientists who say such particles could potentially be floating everywhere. Microplastic — fragments smaller than a fifth of an inch that have broken down from larger pieces of plastic — has been found in rivers, lakes, the oceans and in agricultural soil. But very few studies of wind-borne microplastic have ever been done. This one found that the air over these mountains has about as much floating plastic pollution as the air over Paris or Dongguan, a large industrial city in China. Steve Allen, a researcher at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, was part of the team that dreamed up the Pyrenees experiment. "I don't know if you've ever seen a plastic bag on a fence flapping away until it disappears," he says. "Well, we thought that maybe it just doesn't disappear, so we started looking for it a bit higher up." Higher up meaning 4,500

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