Rocky Mountain high alert: now there’s plastic in the air and ...

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Rocky Mountain high alert: now there’s plastic in the air and rain

Discovery of micro bits wafting around the remote Colorado mountains bodes ill for SA's eco future

Journalist

Scientists have discovered tiny fragments of plastic floating in the air and rain in remote mountain locations, confirming the globally pervasive nature of airborne plastic pollution and raising concern about its potential human health and ecological impacts.

In a new research paper, titled “It’s raining plastic”, US Geological Survey chemist Gregory Wetherbee said tiny pieces of multicoloured plastic had been found in more than 90% of rainwater samples collected in Colorado State, including a remote site high up in the Rocky Mountains.

Wetherbee and his colleagues, who had been collecting samples to study nitrogen pollution, said the results were “unanticipated”, and suggested that airborne plastic pollution was now ubiquitous and not just an urban phenomenon...

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