April 14, 2021 4:32:40 PM IST
Researchers at Cornell University and Utah State University have found that air can be one medium that microplastics use to circulate around the world. Published in the trade journal Procedure of the National Academy of SciencesThe study shows that microplastics can be in the air and have distribution patterns that are similar to biogeochemical cycles such as water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur cycles, which are vital to living organisms. One of the researchers in the study said that the movement of microplastics around the world may have caused our planet to “plasticize”.
Poorly managed waste dumped at sea and on land degrades over time and makes it easier to move around. A microplastic transport model was created by postdoctoral fellow Marje Prank and engineering professor Natalie Mahowald in Cornell. According to a common history On the official Cornell University website, Natalie said she did the modeling to find out the sources of the plastic.
Speaking of her findings, Prank said the amount of microplastics in the atmosphere is alarming, accumulating in the oceans and circulating everywhere, including the oceans.
Between December 2017 and January 2019, microplastic data was collected for the study in the western United States. Up to 84% of microplastic particles came from cars and dust made from degraded or used plastic. Sea spray, the aerosol particles that form when seawater hits solid surfaces, has also been linked to about 11 percent of microplastic pollution, and an additional 5 percent is believed to come from dust in agricultural soils.
The lead author of this study, Dr. Janice Brahney, an assistant professor of natural resources at Utah State University, said they found plastic pollution everywhere. She added that the microplastic sources they studied, although they were collected this year, were likely released into the environment decades ago.
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