Microplastics ‘significantly contaminating the air’, scientists warn

Discovery of pollution in snowfall from the Arctic to the Alps leads to call for urgent research on potential human health impactsAbundant levels of microplastic pollution have been found in snow from the Arctic to the Alps, according to a...

Microplastics ‘significantly contaminating the air’, scientists warn

Discovery of pollution in snowfall from the Arctic to the Alps leads to call for urgent research on potential human health impacts

Abundant levels of microplastic pollution have been found in snow from the Arctic to the Alps, according to a study that has prompted scientists to warn of significant contamination of the atmosphere and demand urgent research into the potential health impacts on people.

Snow captures particles from the air as it falls and samples from ice floes on the ocean between Greenland and Svalbard contained an average of 1,760 microplastic particles per litre, the research found. Even more – 24,600 per litre on average – were found at European locations. The work shows transport by winds is a key factor in microplastics contamination across the globe.

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