Nanoplastic pollution was first detected in the Polar Regions. This shows that these tiny particles are now all over the world.
Although nanoparticles are less toxic and smaller than microplastics, their impact on human health is still unknown.
A core taken from the Greenlands Ice Cap revealed that nanoplastic contamination had been contaminating the remote area for at least 50 year. Researchers were also shocked to discover that 25% of the particles were caused by vehicle tyres.
Nanoparticles are extremely light and were likely to be blown to Greenland by winds from Asia and North America. The ocean currents likely transported the nanoplastics found in McMurdo sound in Antarctica to the remote continent.
Scientists have reported that plastics are part of the chemical pollution that is contaminating the planet. It has now passed the safe limit for humans. Plastic pollution has been discovered from the top of Mount Everest to deep in the oceans. Inadvertently eating is a common problem. BreatheMicroplastics and another study have shown that these particles can cause damage to human cells.
Duan Materi from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, who led the research, said that nanoplastics were found in both the south and north poles of Earth. This is why nanoplastics are so toxicologically active, compared to microplastics.
The Greenland ice core measured 14 metres deep and contained layers of snowfall that date back to 1965. Materi stated that the surprise for him was not the presence of nanoplastics, but that it was found all the way to the core. Although nanoplastics are often considered a new pollutant, they have actually been present for many decades.
Although microplastics were previously found in Arctic Ice, the Materis team had never before developed new detection methods to detect these smaller particles. Previous research had suggested that ocean microplastics could be caused by dust from tyres. The new research adds real-world evidence.
The new study Published inEnvironmental Research published 13 nanograms of nanoplastics in Greenland’s melted ice. The amount was four times higher in Antarctic ice. This is likely because the process of creating sea ice concentrates the particles.
Greenland’s nanoplastics comprised half of the polyethylene (PE), which is used in single use plastic bags and packaging. A quarter of the nanoplastics in Greenland were tyre molecules, and a fifth were plasticethylene terephthalate. This is used in bottles and clothing.
Half of the nanoplastics found in Antarctic ice were PE. Polypropylene, which is used for food containers, was the next most popular. Antarctica, which is further from the population, had no tyre debris. To avoid contamination, the researchers collected samples only from the cores of the ice ice cores. They also tested their system with pure water control samples.
Previous studies have shown that plastic nanoparticles were found in rivers in the UK and seawater from the North Atlantic. They also appeared in Siberia lakes and snow in the Austrian mountains. Materi said that we assume the hotspots to be continents where people reside.
The researchers stated that nanoplastics have had adverse effects on various organisms. Exposure to nanoplastics in humans can cause cytotoxicity. [and] inflammation.
Accurate measurement is essential for any researcher. [the pollution]Materi stated that they would then evaluate the situation. We are at a very early stage of our analysis to draw conclusions. It seems that it is a very large problem everywhere we have looked. How big is it? We don’t yet know.
Research is underway on the effects of plastic pollution on human health. Dr Fay Couceiro, a University of Portsmouth, UK, is leading a new group on microplastics. One of its initial projects is with Portsmouth hospital university NHS trust. This project will examine the presence microplastics in the lungs and lungs of patients who have chronic obstructive and/or severe pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.
The research will examine whether patients’ conditions are triggered by recently carpeted or vacuumed rooms. Couceiro said that aside from the environmental harm caused by plastics there is increasing concern about the health effects of inhaling and swallowing microplastics.
Recent research by her suggests that people could be Breathing in 2,0007,000 microplastics dailyThey live in their own homes. Professor Anoop Jivan Chauhan is a respiratory specialist at Portsmouth hospital university NHS trust. He said: These data are really quite shocking. We could all inhale and swallow up to 1.8m microplastics each year. Once they get inside our bodies, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t cause irreversible harm.