Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Levels of microplastics in the Baltic have remained constant for 30 years
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Oct 24, 2017

Levels of microplastics in the Baltic Sea haven't risen for three decades, according to sampling and analysis by efforts by researchers in Germany and Denmark.

Scientists from the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen and the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, in Germany, have been measuring the amount of micro plastics in fish and water samples from the Baltic since 1987.

This week, researchers published a summary of their findings over the last 30 years in the journal Science of The Total Environment.

"The result is surprising. There is the same amount of plastic in both the water and the fish when you go back 30 years," Torkel Gissel Nielsen, a professor at the Technical University of Denmark, said in a news release.

The result is surprising because the production of plastics has increased, along with the planet's population, and because plastics take more than a century to break down. Elsewhere, studies have found increasing concentrations of microplastics.

"So where has the plastic gone? Does it sink to the bottom? Are there organisms that can break it down? Or is it carried away by currents?" Nielsen asked.

Researchers hope the results of their study don't give the false impression that the problem of microplastics pollution is going away. In addition to analyzing Baltic water samples, scientist have surveyed the insides of hundreds of herring and sprat specimens. The stomachs of one in five fish have revealed plastic particles and fragments -- most frequently synthetic fibers from clothing.

"It is important to focus on the fact that microplastics do not belong in the sea, and we still need to reduce their spreading so they do not end up in the aquatic environment and the food chain," Sabrina Beer, who was a masters student at the University of Copenhagen at the time of the research.

While the amounts of microplastics found in the Baltic isn't overwhelming -- the team found 0.3 microplastic fibers in every cubic meter of water -- scientists are still working to understand the ecological risks posed by plastic pollution.

One of their gravest risks likely lies in their ability to attract other contaminants. Toxic chemicals can attach to microplastics, making them more likely be absorbed by and accumulate in the tissue of marine organisms.

"There remains a need for a greater focus on microplastics in our seas," Breer said. "Our study paves the way for studying other aspects of the significance of microplastics, and levels of microplastics from the air to the seabed."

New London pollution tax comes into force
London (AFP) Oct 23, 2017
Drivers of the most polluting vehicles face an extra daily charge for driving into central London under a scheme introduced Monday that aims to improve air quality in one of Europe's most polluted cities. London Mayor Sadiq Khan claimed that with the rollout of the new weekday "toxicity charge" - dubbed the "T-charge" - London had "the world's toughest emission standard". The Pounds 10 (11.2 ... read more

Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Mayor of Puerto Rican capital a fighter who took on Trump

Insured losses from hurricanes, Mexico quakes $95 bln: Swiss Re estimate

Zurich Insurance sees $700 mln in hurricane claims in Q3

Mexicans pick up the pieces one month after quake

The drop that's good to the very end

Study shows how rough microparticles can cause big problems

Chemical treatment improves quantum dot lasers

Missing link between new topological phases of matter discovered

Hardy corals make their moves to build new reefs from scratch

Ancient Turkish town prepares to vanish under floodwaters

Cool roofs have water saving benefits too

World's deepest lake in peril, scientists warn

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

Drive for giant new marine sanctuary in Antarctica

As ice sheet melts, Greenland's fjords become less salty

Thousands of penguin chicks starve in Antarctica

Antelope perfume keeps flies away from cows

More than 1.3 million demand EU weedkiller ban

Little growth observed in India's methane emissions

India to close colonial-era military farms

Typhoon leaves five dead after lashing Japan on election day

Volcanic eruption showers Solomons' villages with ash

Ancient Turkish town prepares to vanish under floodwaters

Is it gonna blow? Measuring volcanic emissions from space

US military to pursue Niger operations after deadly attack

Niger raid highlights US forces' growing Africa role

UN anti-torture panel suspends Rwanda trip over 'obstructions'

C. Africa holds military intervention record

Set of 9 million-year-old teeth suggests earliest human relatives could have lived in Europe

Primate study offers insights into relationship between of jealousy and monogamy

Genome of a 40,000-year-old man in China reveals region's complex human history

New study suggests that last common ancestor of humans and apes was smaller than thought

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement