Through the air, microplastics, small plastic particles, ended up in the snow on the North Pole. German and Swiss scientists discovered this, describing their findings in the scientific journal Science Advances .
1 liter of snow at the North Pole was found to contain 14,400 plastic particles. That is not as much as in Germany, for example, where 1 liter of snow along a Bavarian country road contained around 154,000 particles. The particles found were between 0.011 and 0.475 millimeters in size. 80 percent of the particles were smaller than 0.025 millimeters.
The plastic can also come from other parts of the world. Previous research has shown that gusts of dust from the Sahara can bring 3,500 kilometers far to the Atlantic Ocean. This may also happen with plastic particles that go to the North Pole from Europe.
Scientists already knew that plastic particles occur in seawater, drinking water and even animals. In addition, it has often been investigated how much plastic there is in food. The new findings raise the question of how much plastic people breathe, according to lead researcher Melanie Bergmann of the Swiss Alfred Wegener Institute.
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