Microplastics from Africa or North America are found in the Pyrenees

L'Observatoire du Pic du Midi. © Imag'In Pyrénées, Adobe Stock

Microplastics, pollutants already found in the middle of Everest, the Arctic or the oceans, can be carried between continents by high winds, a study published in the journal Highlights. Natural communication.

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The Micro plastic A few millimeters at most, for example packaging decay or Laundry, Is raising concerns for researchers. Their presence is also highlighted nearby Mount Everest, Probably due to the equipment of the climbers, and in greater numbers, they gather every year Roof Of the world. Other studies have found them in the Alps or Arctic ice, and they have also been identified in rivers. The most remote parts of the oceans. Studies have also measured itWind Close to the ground.

Scientists at CNRS, Grenoble Alpes 2 University and Strathclyde University (Scotland) this time searched for them in the “pure” air above the clouds. Samples were taken between June and October 2017 at the Pic du Midi Laboratory, located at an altitude of 2,877 meters in the French Pyrenees, pumping 10,000 m3 of air per week.

All were found to be present Micro plastic. Significantly in areas where there is no immediate risk to health, but in the protected area “One cannot teach easily” This pollution has no local origin, researchers write.

“No potential storage well”

To understand its appearance, they calculated the path of the different air masses sampled in the 7 days prior to sampling. As a result, pollutants form especially in the northwest of the African continent, crossing the Mediterranean, North America or the Atlantic Ocean.

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This data confirms an intercontinental journey because the atmosphere was studied Tropics Act like free “A Expressway” Over a very large distance for particles, says Steve Allen, the lead author of the study. According to the researcher, the oceanic origin of a portion of these particles makes this a very important teaching.Study.

“It’s not Plastic Being carried to such heights from the sea shows that there is no storage well, which rotates in a permanent cycle. This shows that the plastic cannot be shipped overseas because it will be returned to you. In another form.

Especially since some particles have been analyzed, of the sequence Micron, “We are at a level where we can breathe”, Adds Diony Allen, author of the study. These results “Show that this is a global problem”, The researcher adds.

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