Plastic was invented relatively recently andalmost immediately gained popularity. Most of the objects that surrounds us, in varying degrees, made with the use of plastic. In this case, the disposal of this material is quite complicated. But recently, scientists have been sounding the alarm because of the so-called microplastic. In fact, it is a plastic pil, which can be found almost everywhere on our planet: from mountain peaks to the depths of the sea and the south pole. However, there are still places on the ground that are not subject to pollution. And they can help in the fight against global catastrophe.
What is dangerous microplastic
There is a wealth of data on how microplasticcan affect a variety of animals and even entire ecosystems. For example, a microplastic caught in water is absorbed by small plankton, which is eaten by larger fish. Accumulating in organs and tissues, microplastic can cause the death of fish and the disappearance of whole species from a certain area. And this is just one of the examples of the mongey.
See also: How much microscopic plastic does a person eat in one year?
What to do?
First of all, do not panic. After all, the system of small isolated lakes in Canada can become test sites that will allow researchers to carry out the necessary tests in order to understand how to deal with the problem. Exploring lakes is crucial because the ocean is not amenable to controlled experiments. Researchers cannot throw away a bunch of microplastic and say, “Aha, look what happens to these fish, these algae and these crustaceans. Now we know what to do! ” But clean lakes located in remote regions can allow you to create an isolated “pocket” and understand how microplastic “behaves” in real natural conditions. Of course, you can conduct research in the laboratory, but the data obtained in this way will be far from the truth.
"When we grow animals in the lab, this,in fact, a “five-star hotel,” said Chelsea Rochman, an ecologist at the University of Toronto, one of the authors of the work. “They get all the food they need and live with other organisms without the threat of predators, and they do not have the freedom to move and interact with other organisms.”
Where are these clear lakes located?
58 small isolated lakes are in almostuninhabited location northwest of Ontario. For many kilometers around there are no traces of human presence, which means that these places should be largely free of pollutants. Researchers hope to use this area for microplastic experiments.
"Imagine that you put a very biga bag of microplastic directly into the water, ”says another participant in the project, a biologist at the University of Lakehead, Mike Renney. “This bag is held on the bottom by other sandbags and is semi-permeable. Microorganisms easily penetrate inside, but microplastic does not go outside. Ultimately, you have a “mini-ecosystem” in the ecosystem. ”
The main goal of the project is to see what effects a microplastic has on organisms and how these effects spread throughout the ecosystem.
"One of the things we want to understand is whethermicroplastic indirect effects. So, for example, when we added synthetic estrogen to the lake, it eventually turned a bunch of fathead minnows into intersex people, that is, the males turned into females. Obviously, this is bad for fathead minnows because they could not breed. But it was also bad news for lake trout, which uses minnows as food. Therefore, although the trout did not respond directly to estrogen, it also endangered it. Can microplastic cause similar effects? This is what we want to find out. ”
Thus, having understood the nature of the spread andeffects of microplastics, it will be possible to develop effective systems that will counteract the negative effects of this material, which bears a great danger to the environment.
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