Coronavirus: Masks and Gloves Found in Seven Major European Rivers

General News
A protective mask thrown to the ground

POLLUTION: Scientists say there is a cause for concern for the environment as many more masks and gloves are likely already at sea

A lot of protective masks and gloves were found in seven major European rivers last month, said Sunday a spokesman of the Tara Foundation, warning about the danger of the pollution from microplastics linked to the health crisis and coronavirus.

“Scientists in Tara’s partner laboratories” have systematically found masks and gloves “on the banks and beaches of seven European rivers, during samples taken” in June “, declared on France Inter Romy Hentinger, head of advocacy and the international cooperation of the foundation. “This is worrying for the future” because “we can deduce that others have already arrived at sea,” added the spokesperson, stressing that the protective masks for single-use, made of polypropylene and “very fine”, “Will fragment quickly”.


Microplastics already present in rivers

The rivers studied are among the nine major European rivers explored in 2019 by the scientific schooner, as part of a mission on microplastics. These are the Thames, Elbe, Rhine, Ebro, Tiber, Seine, Rhône, Garonne and Loire. “We are awaiting the final results of these scientists who are still completing these rivers,” added Romy Hentinger.

Tara’s expedition, from May to November 2019, had highlighted the presence of microplastics in 100% of water samples, showing that they are already present from rivers and “do not degrade at sea, under the influence of UV rays and salt “as we thought, said Martin Hertau, captain of this floating laboratory.

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