Science 2 min read

Microplastic Pollution Reaches the Pyrenees Mountains

Pyrenees Mountains | 12019 /

Pyrenees Mountains | 12019 /

A new study revealed that microplastic pollution has already reached a once pristine part of the Pyrenees mountains. According to the researchers, high amounts of microplastic are pouring over a remote area of the Pyrenees. What’s worse is that these plastic particles may be floating everywhere.

The Pyrenees mountains form the border between France and Spain. For five months, researchers from the University of Strathclyde and the University of Toulouse gathered the particles from the dust, rain, and snow, that pours over the Bernadouze Meteorological Station in the Pyrenees mountains.

The scientists reportedly discovered plastic particles in the samples they collected, the type commonly used in single-use packaging. Steve Allen, a researcher from the University of Strathclyde, was quoted as saying:

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a plastic bag on a fence flapping away until it disappears. Well, we thought that maybe it just doesn’t disappear, so we started looking for it a bit higher up. We expected to find some. We didn’t expect to find quite as much as we did.”

Microplastic Pollution

According to their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the plastic particles that are currently blanketing the Pyrenees also contain film and fiber debris. Computer simulations also suggest that the particles float at least a hundred kilometers above Earth first before they come raining back.

Furthermore, scientists claim that these small particles are lighter and may travel much farther. For instance, the team cited that dust particles from the Sahara Desert, which are heavier and bigger than microplastic, have been found in the Pyrenees.

The researchers reported that microplastic pollution is new and humans could inhale some of these plastic particles. Allen added:

“We …don’t know what they do to humans. They’re a brand new [type of] pollution, but there’s so much of it and it’s increasing so fast that it’s something we really need to start learning about.”

Read More: Microplastics Discovered In 93 Percent Of Popular Bottled Water Brands

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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    Claire Smith April 19 at 7:35 am GMT

    I can’t imagine the amount of dust particles present in the city. I should say face mask is a must. Thank you for putting this together very informative.

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