French scientists pointed out in a new research report that plastic particles are everywhere from Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench, even at a high altitude in the earth's troposphere where the wind speed is fast enough to make plastic particles fly thousands of miles.
Plastic particles are micro fragments with a length of less than 5 mm. They come from product packaging, clothing, vehicles and other items and have been detected on land, at sea and in the atmosphere.
Recently, scientists from the French National Center for scientific research sampled the air at the 2877 meter altitude of the South bigore Observatory in the Pyrenees. The observatory is regarded as a "clean station" because the local climate and environment have limited impact on it.
It is reported that from June to October 2017, scientists tested 10000 cubic meters of air every week and found that all samples contained plastic particles.
Using meteorological data, they calculated the trajectories of different air masses before each sampling, and found air sources as far away as North Africa and North America.
The lead author of the study, Steve Allen of Dalhousie University in Canada, said that plastic particles can walk all over the world because they can reach high altitude. "Once we reach the troposphere, it's like walking on a super fast highway," he said
It is reported that the study also found the source of plastic particles in the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
"The source of the ocean is the most noteworthy," Allen said. "When plastic leaves the ocean and enters such a high altitude, it shows that the plastic has not settled in the end. It just moves around endlessly and repeatedly."
The co-author of the study, deoni Allen, pointed out that although the amount of plastic particles in the samples of the South biger Observatory did not pose a health risk, these particles were particularly small enough to be inhaled into the human body.
She said that plastic particles appear in areas considered to be protected and away from pollution sources, which should be solved. "It questions our relationship with plastics." She also said that the problem is global.
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