Microplastics Are Literally Everywhere, And They Are An Existential Threat To The Future Of The Human Race

Microplastics Are Literally Everywhere, And They Are An Existential Threat To The Future Of The Human Race by  for End of the American Dream

History will look back on us as “the crazy plastic people”.  We produce approximately 400 million tons of plastic each year, and a great deal of that plastic ends up being discarded in various ways.  Over time, the discarded plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.  Once they get small enough, the little bits of plastic become “microplastics”, and today our planet is being polluted by trillions upon trillions of these “microplastics” and the problem becomes worse every year.  Total global plastic production is rising at an exponential rate, and that means that the crisis that I am going to describe in this article will continue to get exponentially more severe.

At this point, microplastics are literally everywhere.

In fact, researchers have found microplastics “everywhere they have looked”

Richard Thompson, a marine ecologist at the University of Plymouth, UK, coined the term in 2004 to describe plastic particles smaller than 5 millimetres across, after his team found them on British beaches. Scientists have since seen microplastics everywhere they have looked: in deep oceans; in Arctic snow and Antarctic ice; in shellfish, table salt, drinking water and beer; and drifting in the air or falling with rain over mountains and cities.

One study discovered that 40 percent of the dust in our homes is now made up of microplastics, and even the rain that falls from the sky is absolutely teeming with microplastics

A new study estimates that more than 1,000 tons of microplastics from the air – equivalent to more than 123 million plastic water bottles – rain down onto protected areas in the western U.S. each year.

The discovery of the microplastics was a surprise. A research team was analyzing rainwater samples from national parks and wilderness areas across Colorado, as part of a pilot study on a new type of field equipment. They were shocked to find that the samples contained microplastics – plastic fragments less than 5 mm (.2 inch) in length – including a rainbow of plastic fibers, as well as beads and shards.

There is no escape from these tiny bits of plastic.

No matter where you get your water from there will be microplastics in it, and this is true all over the globe

What is not filtered out in treatment plants flows into streams, lakes and even wells that farmers use to irrigate fruits and vegetables. Studies show up to 28 microplastics in every cubic meter of water in Vietnam’s rivers and lakes, which is in the low range when compared to waterways in Indonesia, Philippines and China. In the United States, up to 15 particles of microplastics per liter were even found in well water in central Illinois.

The soil beneath our feet is also being increasingly saturated with microplastics, and the UN is warning that the future looks “bleak” for global agriculture if this continues…

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