London records highest level of microplastic contamination

London records highest level of microplastic contamination
Photo: Unsplash

Earlier this year, a new study proved that microplastic pollution has made its way into rainwater. Now, recent research reveals that the city of London holds the highest levels out of four cities recorded.

Further research is necessary to determine the effects of microplastic consumption. Breathing in these minuscule particles is also possible making risk assessment an urgent matter according to experts.

So far, only four cities have been assessed — all of which were discovered to have had microplastic polluting the air. Based on the findings, scientists believe that all cities in the world will be contaminated. This isn’t hard to believe as microplastic sources are present everywhere in the world.

It was previously reported that the whole earth, without exaggeration, seems to be contaminated with microplastics. Experts have found the particles everywhere from the arctic, mountains, rivers and the depths of the ocean. Other studies suggest that particles are airborne and can be blown across the globe.

The amount of microplastic found in London’s air came as a surprise to scientists. Research lead Stephanie Wright from Kings College London said:

“We found a high abundance of microplastics, much higher than what has previously been reported. But any city around the world is going to be somewhat similar.”

“I find it of concern – that is why I am working on it,” she added. “The biggest concern is we don’t really know much at all. I want to find out if it is safe or not.”

The Guardian reports that around 335m tons of new plastic is being produced annually and most of it finds it way out into the environment.