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Researchers: New material in Antarctic snowfall that shouldn't have come anyway!

by Stajila 2 months ago in Science
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New material in Antarctic snowfall.

Antarctica is an area where few people have set foot and are the only remaining piece of clean land on earth. It is also the cleanest place because it is free from man-made pollution. Although much of the Antarctic is scarred by the loss of ice and the exposure of land as a result of global warming trends, these are 'harmless'. But recently, researchers have discovered a new substance in Antarctica's snowfall that is not supposed to be there.

What have researchers found in Antarctica? According to an article in the journal Cryosphere, researchers have found microplastics in the new snowfall in Antarctica. What is microplastic? Microplastics are a new concept developed by scientists such as Thompson, who includes all plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter in the category of microplastics. We think of microplastics as being smaller in diameter, so small that they are invisible to the naked eye.

It is worth noting that pollution in microplastics is not the same as 'white pollution. In contrast, microplastics are more damaging to the environment, mainly because of their smaller diameter and their ubiquity. Microplastics can contaminate every corner of the planet. Scientists have found microplastics in the Marianas Trench, the Antarctic ice cap, and even in human blood. For the first time, microplastics have not been found in Antarctic snowfall before.

What are these microplastics? Tests have revealed that the composition of these microplastics is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the main ingredient in mineral water bottles and beverage bottles. In other words, while these items produced by humans are convenient to everyone, they are also causing a new kind of pollution to the planet, namely microplastic pollution, a new kind of pollution.

Because microplastics are too small to prevent, they are also light in weight. When it blows with the wind, it travels all over the world and floats in the air. It is not surprising that it falls with rain and snow. Where does the pollution in microplastics come from? It's all the plastic products we produce. When humans throw away plastic products, although plastic is difficult to degrade, it gradually becomes smaller and eventually forms microplastics. As the groundwater in the microplastics flows into the ocean or floats in the air, it gradually fills the entire planet.

The results are therefore not surprising, says Ph.D. student Alex Aves. No matter where you look for microplastics, you will always find them.

Against the background of not being able to deal with and address the contamination in microplastics, we can only do more to prevent them from entering the human body. Studies have shown that the concentration of microplastics in babies is 20 times higher than in adults. It is not that babies are more likely to absorb microplastics, but that when they crawl on the floor or chew on plastic products, they are more or less likely to accidentally ingest some of them. So try to avoid your baby's contact with plastic products or exposure to plastic environments.

Microplastics are difficult to degrade, so they can build up in the body. Although scientists have yet to discover the effects of microplastics on humans, how can this foreign substance invade the body without causing harm? When there is no solution to the pollution in microplastics, it is important to think at the source, develop degradable plastics, use the power of technology to make it less difficult for plastics to degrade, or find new substances to replace them.

Microplastics not only pollute humans but also harm marine life. Therefore, finding solutions is not only helping ourselves but also marine animals.

Science

About the author

Stajila

The progress of scientific research and its increasingly expanding fields will arouse our hope。

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