European lakes have alarming levels of microplastic pollution than previously thought

The concentrations of microplastic pollution in lakes across Europe are higher than scientists have estimated in the past. According to a new study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology, the prevalence of plastic microparticles and synthetic fibers is closely related to human activity and land use in the area.

In fact, microplastic pollution can be transported to a variety of places, such as deep sea trenches and mountain peaks, but the latest discovery gave the impression that most plastic pollution is found in the waters near places where humans produce plastic waste.

(Photo: Getty Images)

In the study, the researchers searched the surface waters of several European lakes for microplastics. In order to identify the chemical components of the plastic microparticles, they used both Microscopes and Spectral Analysis.

Using both previously published data and a model to explain the results of their trawling efforts, the researchers roughly calculated the amounts of microplastic pollution detected in each part of the entire freshwater lake system.

Also read: Microplastics are now swirling around the globe in the air we breathe

Negative effects of plastic on the ecosystem

The researchers’ simulations showed that microplastic pollution quadrupled in bodies of water near regions with high levels of human activity. The reduced forest cover also has something to do with the increased microplastic pollution.

Researchers found that some lakes can handle microplastic pollution better than other lakes. Lakes with more active microorganisms contained minimal concentrations of plastic microparticles.

The researchers wrote: “Our study provides a valuable evidence base to prioritize the monitoring and containment of anthropogenic waste in the world’s lakes anthropogenic rubble continue to pollute the environment, our data will help contextualize future work, and our models can contribute to control and remediation efforts. “

Studies have shown that fish larvae can ingest microplastics and move up the food chain, disrupting the entire ecosystem. The smallest size of plastic negatively affects even the largest types of water.

Plastic garbage on the beach

(Photo: Getty Images)

How can microparticle pollution be stopped?

In a press release, Andrew Tanentzap, a lead writer, said most of the attention is focused on plastic pollution in the oceans, but they found that microscopic plastics and man-made fibers also pollute lakes in Europe – the main sources of drinking water.

The head of the University of Cambridge’s Ecosystems and Global Change Group and also a professor of global change ecology named Tanentzap said, “Our study can now help guide control and remediation efforts by identifying microparticle pollution hotspots based on the surrounding environment Land use and water quality identified. “

The study also found that the microparticle concentrations of the sampled lakes were correctly projected based on their water quality and surrounding land use.

In addition to the differences in microparticle concentration in land use, lakes had microparticles five times smaller with more active microorganisms.

This suggested that some naturally occurring species could help clean up the microparticle pollution. In order to separate microorganisms from the natural environment and to check the extent to which they can break down microplastics and fibers, potential studies are required.

Related article: Can magnets help break down microplastics in marine pollution?

For more news, updates on microplastic pollution and similar topics, don’t forget to follow Nature World News!

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