Along with research, policy and technology, it is now a global environmental concern that requires individual or personal effort to restrict the use of plastics.
According to a study by Utah State University and Cornell University in the United States (United States), the number of airborne plastics or microplastics has increased dramatically over the past 50 years and these particles of plastic are now multiplying all over the world.
The results of this study showed that roads (84%), the ocean (11%) and agricultural soil dust (5%) were the sources of airborne plastic. However, the oceans had the highest concentration of microplastics.
Microplastics in the sea are expelled when breaking waves cause trapped air bubbles to rise to the surface and burst. This causes the microplastics to stay suspended in the air above the surface and are then transported by the atmosphere. This process is known as the “surface burst and bubble ejection” process.
According to another study conducted by the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom (UK), this was considered to be a potential cause of the atmospheric circulation of microplastics.
Since microplastics are not biodegradable, they tend to persist in the atmosphere, lithosphere and biosphere, forming what is today called a âglobal plastic cycleâ. It has been claimed that this emerging cycle is responsible for the “plasticization” of the planet.
How? ‘Or’ What? Microplastics are obviously common today, with their distribution ranging from the most densely populated countries in the world, like China and India, to developed countries, like the United States, the United Kingdom and even the most remote areas. , like Antarctica and the Arctic. The Utah / Cornell study identified the western United States, India, Europe, East and West Asia as hot spots for microplastic pollution.
Researchers are now discovering microplastics everywhere they look – in the world’s deepest rivers, lakes and soils – with microplastics raining down on city dwellers, distant mountain peaks, and even pristine places such as the French side of the mountains. Pyrenees.
Sources of microplastics are varied, from the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, to marine activities like fishing, diving, cruising and even travel. Since plastic is used in the manufacture of everyday products, it is important to reduce our use of single use plastic or any quality plastic products in our daily life.
The impact and implications of microplastics on the health of the planet and its inhabitants are insurmountable. These airborne plastics not only have the ability to cross continental borders, but can also reach our bloodstream.
They are even found in the guts of insects found in Antarctica from sources such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the clothes we wear. However, more research is needed to determine the possible health effects of inhaling plastics from air, food or water.
According to a study based on calculations of the number of microplastic particles people eat in a year, adults consume more than 50,000 microplastic particles per year, while children consume about 40,000.
Another study that assessed the presence of microplastics in water estimated that a person who drank only bottled water would consume 130,000 particles per year from this source alone, compared to 4,000 for water. tap. Still, more research is needed to fill in the data gaps, as most foods and drinks have yet to be tested.
Microplastics are obviously everywhere now, and their influence affects not only people’s lives, but the environment as well. They can have negative or unknown consequences on human health and the natural environment, according to a recent study by Cornell University.
More research is urgently needed, at least in countries like India where microplastics are less studied despite being a major hotspot for them.
Along with extensive research, policy or technology, it is now a global environmental concern that requires individual or personal effort to restrict the use of plastics. This should be done by avoiding products containing microbeads, choosing clothing made from natural fibers, avoiding single-use plastic products, and not dumping plastic waste down the drain.
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