In the Siberian unspoiled nature, snowfall contains microplastics. Researchers at Tomsk State University are trying to map the cycle of plastics and taking samples from a 2,000-kilometer route.
The researchers are taking snow from twenty selected regions of Siberia from the Altai in the south to the Arctic Ocean (a 2,000-kilometer route). The first analyzes suggest that fragments of plastics are also found in the snow of remote Siberia. Plastic microparticles carried by the atmosphere in Siberia are literally snowing from the sky.
Microplastics Spread Mapping
“We already know that not only rivers and oceans contribute to the global circulation of plastic microparticles, but also soil, living organisms, and even the atmosphere,” said Julia Frank of Tomsk State University.
Experts from the Tomsk University are mapping microplastics in Siberia. “There is a very interesting research on the spread of microplastics conducted by foreign scientists. Unfortunately, we do not have similar data in Russia yet. We can say that we are local pioneers, ” describes work Danil Vorobjov, head of the Department of Biology from Tomsk University.
Effect on the Environment
In particular, the various additives that are added to plastics during production to improve the properties of plastics are harmful. Microplastics bind heavy metals and other toxins to their surface. Even some bacteria can bind to microplastics. All these undesirable substances and microorganisms reach the human food chain.
“We have a relatively low population density here (in Siberia). This is a positive in terms of environmental pollution because anthropogenic sources are the largest source of microplastics, “adds Frank.
Using samples of Siberian snow, scientists are investigating the links between population density, road occurrence, and pollution. But he is already talking about concerns that microplastics are irresistibly penetrating even places that are very distant from civilization, including rain in national parks, uninhabited oceanic islands, and Arctic snow.
Source: http://en.tsu.ru/news/scientists-will-find-out-how-much-microplastic-is-in-the-snow, featured image by kristamonique from Pixabay