Pieces of plastic have been found in snow

02.09.2019

The study also raises questions about human exposure to microplastics, which could potentially pose a health risk.

New study reveals that the tiny plastic particles, which are smaller than 5 millimeters, have now found their way into the snow.      

Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF-WSL analyzed snow samples from Helgoland, Bavaria, Bremen, the Swiss Alps, and the Arctic and found that the total microplastic concentration in the snow was significantly higher than previously assumed.

"Although the study shows that the proportion of microplastics is lower in areas further away from densely populated and industrialized cities, the researchers were also able to detect particles on ice floes in Greenland."

"Once we've determined that large quantities of microplastic can also be transported by air, it naturally raises the question as to whether and how much plastic we're inhaling," said marine ecologist Melanie Bergmann, who co-led the research.

Research article