April 14, 2024 1:50 pm
Microplastics discovered in 1730s lake deposits despite lack of plastic production

In recent years, microplastics have become an increasingly prevalent issue around the world. The discovery of microplastics in various locations, including Latvia, has impacted how we define the new geological era, the Anthropocene. These tiny pieces of plastic have been found in a growing number of places in the 21st century, sparking concerns about their impact on the environment and human health.

The concern about microplastics first arose when they were discovered accumulating in the intestines of fish. Since then, they have been found in various environments, including our bodies and even in women’s placentas. Microplastics have been detected in oceans, atmospheres, and even in isolated regions like Antarctica.

Recent studies in Latvia revealed the presence of microplastics in the sediments of lakes such as Seksu, Pinku, and Usmas. This discovery challenges previous assumptions about the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch and indicates that small fragments of plastic can persist in environments untouched by modern humans.

The Anthropocene era is characterized by significant human impact on the environment. While it was officially named by geologists as starting in the 1950s, questions have been raised about other indicators of this era due to evidence of microplastics found in lake deposits from centuries ago before plastics were even invented.

The decision on formally establishing the Anthropocene epoch will be made by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) soon. Geological eras are not designated frequently; currently, we are living in the Holocene epoch specifically during Meghalaya age that began over 4000 years ago.

In conclusion, while we continue to learn more about these tiny particles’ potential dangers to our environment and health

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