'It is raining plastic': Scientists find colorful microplastic in rain

It's raining plastic -- that's what a survey of rainfall in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, concluded...

Posted: Aug 15, 2019 10:29 AM

It's raining plastic -- that's what a survey of rainfall in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, concluded recently.

The rainfall survey, titled "It is raining plastic," was put together by scientists at the US Department of the Interior and US Geological Survey.

They couldn't see the plastic with their naked eyes, but found it using a binocular microscope fitted with a digital camera.

They found plastic showed up in 90% of the samples, mostly in fiber form, and came in a variety of colors. Blue was most prevalent, followed by red, silver, purple, green, yellow and other colors, the study says.

It's unclear where the plastic is coming from, but plastic contamination has been a growing problem throughout the world.

Scientists have found microplastic particles in rain before. They saw it in the rain falling in the Pyrenees in southern France. It has wound up in remote and otherwise pristine islands. Trillions of pieces of plastic litter float through the ocean, killing fish and other animals. An earlier study found that people are swallowing an average of 5 grams of plastic every week, about the weight of a credit card.

It's unclear what the health effects of living with all this plastic will be, scientists say, although several studies are underway.

Some cities have tried to cut back on plastic by banning plastic bags. Boulder, one of the sites for the rain survey, has a plastic bag ban.

While some companies have made it a goal to scale back their use of plastic, President Donald Trump Tuesday made an appearance at a Pennsylvania plastic manufacturing plant to promote plastic. When asked by a reporter about how he felt about the world being "awash in plastic," the president blamed China for the problem.

"Well, we have tremendous plastics coming over from Asia, from China, and various others," Trump said. "It's not our plastic. It's plastic that's floating over in the ocean and the various oceans from other places. No, plastics are fine, but you have to know what to do with them. But other countries are not taking care of their plastic use and they haven't for a long time. And the plastic that we're getting is floating across the ocean from other places, including China."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2111556

Reported Deaths: 53604
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28079410461
Queens2774949966
Suffolk2011683400
Nassau1837533176
Bronx1836956583
New York1384044508
Westchester1297282291
Erie896041809
Richmond750591840
Monroe690541112
Orange48337843
Rockland46965963
Onondaga38970678
Dutchess29483445
Albany24712357
Oneida22637516
Niagara20045374
Broome18633366
Saratoga15389168
Ulster13916257
Schenectady13207205
Rensselaer11235143
Putnam1062292
Chautauqua8958145
Chemung7774136
Oswego762792
Ontario740893
Steuben6957145
Sullivan667976
St. Lawrence664697
Cayuga633892
Jefferson615568
Wayne578570
Cattaraugus572391
Genesee5437124
Herkimer5193109
Clinton483833
Madison456589
Livingston452460
Fulton442392
Tompkins435052
Montgomery4254127
Columbia4068104
Cortland392963
Tioga383463
Warren366157
Wyoming358453
Allegany355987
Chenango350476
Otsego346347
Greene340579
Washington316255
Orleans312183
Lewis281136
Franklin256312
Delaware238538
Seneca201156
Schoharie169317
Essex159326
Yates117926
Schuyler108014
Hamilton3132
Unassigned10016
Out of NY0250
Utica
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 74°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 81°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 81°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Alivana Ready for Summer Giveaway
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve