Microplastics from Africa and North America found in Pic du Midi’s “clean air”

Microplastics from Africa and North America found in Pic du Midi's "clean air"

After the discovery of microplastics in rivers, oceans and even ice, their existence was confirmed in the “clean air” of the Big Two Midi in the Pyrenees. These plastics come from Africa, North America or the Atlantic Ocean.

They are also found in rivers, seas or even ice. This time it is “Fresh air“The presence of microplastics from the mountains has been confirmed.

The results were released on December 21st Natural communicationS, An international research team comprising CNRS scientists,Grenoble Alps University AndUniversity of Strathclyde (Scotland) Microplastics were found at an altitude of 2,877 meters at the apex of the Big Two Midi, where these particles have not yet been detected.

Using a 10,000m suction pump at the Pic du Midi Laboratory3 Air for a week, the research team was able to analyze the composition of this tall air, thus being able to determine the presence of a microplastic every 4 meters.3.

These polymers, such as polystyrene or polyethylene, come from our daily consumption packaging.

As CNRS underscores in a statement, “If their presence does not represent a direct risk, it is surprising that it is far from a source of pollution.”

In a previous study, from 2019, CNRS Microplastics travel long distances through the air and are carried by the wind. They go back to faraway places, At an altitude of 1,400 meters, in the Pyrenees, on the French side.

The researchers calculated the deposits of 365 microplastic particles per square meter and can be compared to the measured number per day, in large metropolitan areas such as Paris.“Scientists say.

Thanks to mathematical modeling of the paths of air masses, the origin of these particles in the Pic du Midi has been successfully identified. “These plastics come from Africa, North America or the Atlantic Ocean, which ensures microplastics for inter-continental air transport.“.

This data could help highlight “a phase in the life cycle of microplastics” and explain their existence in remote areas of the world, such as the Poles or Everest.

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