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concern! The earth’s atmosphere is filled with plastic, and 1,000 tons of plastic fall in the United States like raindrops every year
Time: 2020-6-17 15:46:14 Source:绿凯思科GETRECYCLING Author:GET营销中心 Hits:94

According to worried scientists, more than 1,000 tons of plastic fall like raindrops every year in the western United States. Researchers have found evidence of "spiral" movement of plastic particles and fibers in Earth's natural systems, such as the rainwater cycle. Even more worrying is that these plastic particles are said to be accumulating in protected areas and US national parks.

Assistant professor Janice Brahney of Utah State University and her team identified these microplastics in 14 months. They conducted research in 11 national parks and wilderness areas across the United States and used powerful magnifying glass to discover microplastics from samples at these locations. The research team also tried to identify the source of the plastic particles in order to track emissions and subsequent sediment.

Brahney said: "We are shocked by the estimated deposition rate and have been trying to find out what our calculations are wrong. Then we confirmed through 32 different particle scans that about 4% of the atmospheric particles analyzed from these remote areas are synthetic polymer."

Microplastics are small plastic blocks less than 5 mm. Some of these microplastics are specifically made for cosmetics and other items, but when larger plastic fragments break down, secondary microplastics can also be produced. Nanoplastics and even smaller plastic particles have worn down to less than a few microns. It is believed that these nanoplastics can penetrate the internal organs of organisms and become part of tissues and cells. This is considered dangerous because plastics often contain toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Marine organisms can ingest these plastics, and then they can enter the human food chain through fish and other seafood. Scientists are still working hard to study how dangerous this plastic pollution is to humans.

In a recent study, researchers pointed out that in 2017, 348 million tons of plastic were produced on Earth. This plastic waste production is not expected to slow down. We know that these microplastics accumulate in rivers and oceans, but only recently have researchers emphasized that they also exist in our atmosphere.

Brahney said: "Some studies have tried to quantify the global plastic cycle, but have not realized the edge of the atmosphere. Our data shows that the plastic cycle is reminiscent of the global water cycle, with atmospheric, marine and terrestrial life."


The study found that cities and regions with large populations are the main source of microplastics, which are carried in the atmosphere and then deposited. Most of the plastic found in wet and dry samples comes from clothing and industrial materials. About 30% of the particles are brightly colored microbeads, which are believed to be made from industrial paints and coatings. Other particles are decomposed from larger plastic fragments.

The researchers pointed out: "This result, combined with the confirmed size distribution of plastics and the relationship with global climate models, shows that the sources of plastic emissions have far exceeded our population centers, and in their lifetime, in the earth system Rotates in a spiral shape."

The scientist estimates that more than 1,000 tons of plastic particles are deposited on protected land in the western United States each year, which is equivalent to more than 123 million plastic water bottles. This is a shocking result in itself, but the transparent and white particles are not even included in the study because they cannot be correctly counted using the amplification process. Therefore, the researchers believe that their estimates may be the lower side of a larger problem.

Brahney concluded: "The ubiquitous microplastics in the atmosphere and the subsequent deposition in distant terrestrial and aquatic environments have caused widespread ecological and social concerns. Determining the key mechanism by which plastics are released into the atmosphere is the first to develop global solutions step."

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