Microplastic is raining down on even remote mountaintops, a new study has revealed, with winds having the capacity to carry the pollution “anywhere and everywhere”.
Humans and other animals are known to consume the tiny plastic particles via food and water, but the potential health effects on people and ecosystems are as yet unknown.
Microplastic pollution in rivers and oceans is now well known but just two previous studies have looked at its presence in the air, one in Paris, France, and another in Dongguan, China.
The level of plastic particle rain correlated with the strength of the winds and analysis of the available data showed the microplastics could be carried 100km in the air.
Many scientists are concerned about the potential health impacts of microplastics, which easily absorb toxic chemicals and can host harmful bacteria, with some even suggesting people are breathing the particles.