Microplastics found in Antarctica for first time
Scientists have found microplastics in fresh ice in the Antarctic for the first time.
Scientists have warned that the microplastics in the fresh snow of Antarctica would accelerate the process of melting of ice.
The researchers found an average of 29 microplastic particles per litre of melted snow.
There were 13 different types of plastic found.
The findings, published in The Cryosphere Journal, point to a serious threat to the Antarctic region.
Impact of microplastic on environment
Studies have shown that microplastics negatively impact the health of the environment, as well as limit the growth, reproduction and normal biological functions of organisms.
Studies show that the global usage of plastic is set to increase by three fold by the year 2060.
Microplastics have been discovered inside fish and under Arctic ice in the deepest ocean depths.
Microplastics if found in humans have negative health effects.
In 2019, Alex Aves, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, collected ice samples from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
The researchers found in the laboratory that every sample from even remote sites on the Ross Ice Shelf contained plastic particles.
Microplastics were found in ice samples from 19 sites in the Ross Island region of Antarctica.
What are Microplastics?
These are defined as plastics less than five millimetres in diameter.
They are small plastic particles that result from commercial product development and the breakdown of larger plastics.
Microplastics are non-degradable and insoluble in water.
As a pollutant, microplastics can be harmful to the health of the environment, humans and organisms.
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