Raining Microplastic – A New Danger from the Plastic World
The first plastic was invented in 1855 by English innovator Alexander Parkes. During the following century, plastic had gained worldwide recognition as durable and multi-purpose material.
The mass production of plastic has started in the second half of the twentieth century and during fifty years, it became an integral part of the world economy. We can’t imagine our life without plastic. All electronic devices include plastic parts. Food, clothes, and goods are wrapped in plastic as well as most of the daily items are made of it.
But in our consumption hysteria, we forget how our consumption habits affect the environment. For thousands of years, humans had used organic materials such as wood, stone, leather, and metal for their needs but only plastic had created such a tremendous environmental crisis in less than fifty years of usage.
The most distant corners of Earth are contaminated with plastic
Vast territories and water spaces are polluted with plastic litter. We produce and emit billions of plastic particles such as bottles, plastic film, packages, cups, and plastic packaging. Once in the environment, plastic parts don’t degrade but decompose into smaller particles called microplastic.
These particles are hardly-visible for the unprotected eye but their presence is manifested by aggressive and toxic contamination. Since we don’t see or notice these particles, people don’t pay attention to them not knowing that innumerable quantities of them are present in the water that we drink, in the food we eat, and in the soil in which we grow crops and food.
Microplastic affects very badly on plants and living creatures
Animals can’t differ plastic from prey and they don’t know how harmful it is. No human will willingly ingest a piece of a plastic packet or a piece of a plastic cup. Plastic is consumed by plankton, then it’s passed to bigger creatures such as whales, fish, and even land animals, eventually ending up on our plates.
Plastic is made of fossil fuels. If one gulp of gas could cause serious intoxication or even death to a human, we should think about how dangerous microplastic is for smaller creatures and how ingested microplastic harms animals and humans. Plants suffer a lot too. They are fed by the soil and if soil includes hazardous and harmful elements, plants experience serious damage.
A new danger from the plastic world has been spotted by scientists. Since microplastic has entered all the Earth’s ecospheres from soil to air, microplastic rains are raging upon the North American continent.
Released microplastic evaporates with water and accumulates in the atmosphere, falling down with the rain. The worst part is the impossibility to control these processes. It’s impossible to extract microplastic particles from water and soil so the more plastic we will use and emit, the more microplastic particles will enter the environment.
A recent study conducted by an international group of scientists shows that microplastic particles have reached the Antarctic waters through the currents. It will not be a surprise when scientists will find them in water samples from the South Pole, Amazonia or, Russian Siberia.
Mother Planet in a plastic garbage
Knowing how microplastic harms our health and the environment, we can expect that humanity will ban the production of disposable plastic items and irresponsible littering. But the sad truth is, that plastic production volumes would be doubled by 2030, choking our Mother Planet in plastic garbage.
Of course, it is people who are to blame because there’s demand, there’s supply. The one thing we know for certain is that we can’t fix the situation, we only can prevent further worsening of the environmental state of our planet. Microplastic rains carry a serious threat to our wellbeing and the environment. They saturate the land and freshwater reserves with toxic and unnatural particles that cause long-term intoxication.
Health problems could be caused by microplastic pollution such as respiratory system diseases and digestive system malfunctions as well as other maladies could be the case.
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