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The hills are alive with the signs of plastic: even Swiss mountains are polluted


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Microplastic pollution contaminates soil across Switzerland, even in remote mountains, new research reveals. The scientists said the problem could be worse in other nations with poorer waste management and that research was urgently needed to see if microplastics get into food. In the first major study of microplastics in soil, the researchers analysed soil samples from 29 river flood plains in nature reserves across Switzerland. They found microplastics, fragments under 5mm in size, in 90% of the soils. The scientists believe the particles are carried across the country by the wind. Research on microplastic pollution to date has largely concentrated on the oceans, in which it is found across the globe, including the Arctic. The particles have been shown to harm marine life and can absorb toxins from the water. Record levels of microplastics were revealed in rivers by research released in March and last year tap water around the world was found to contain plastic fibres. Other studies have found microplastics in bottled water, which prompted the World Health Organization to launch a review, as well as in beer, honey and salt. However, almost no research has yet been done on whether the particles end up being widely consumed by people and whether they are harmful.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/the-hills-are-alive-with-the-signs-of-plastic-even-swiss-mountains-are-polluted

Posted by on Apr 28 2018. Filed under News Worldwide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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