How microplastic threatens the survival of bees

The quantities of microplastics found in bees hives in the countryside are slightly lower than those of urban hives

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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How microplastic threatens the survival of bees

The quantities of microplastics found in bees hives in the countryside are slightly lower than those of urban hives, a sign that microplastic pollution is truly invasive: the wind causes microplastics to contaminate rural and less inhabited environments.

In some cases, microplastics are likely to end up in honey as well. Experts said: "Honey bees interact with the environment within their collection area and carry pollutants with them. Our results demonstrated the presence of microplastics attached to the body of honey bees and open a new path of research for their use as active biosamplers for anthropogenic pollution." The climate crisis, the excessive use of pesticides and, ultimately, the dispersion of microplastics in the air and oceans.

So, this recent study shows that bees represent one of the sentinels that allow experts to map microplastic pollution in the environment. The study, conducted in Denmark, revealed that 13 different types of polymers were found and analyzed by researchers, mainly polyester and polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.

Productivity losses and degraded quality of life caused by air pollution are estimated to cost the world economy €50 trillion per year. Various pollution control technologies and strategies are available to reduce air pollution.

The effects on human health due to poor air quality mainly involve the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Individual reactions to air pollutants depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, the individual's state of health and genetics.

Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 report. Outdoor air pollution causes 2.1 to 4.21 million dead every year. Collectively, air pollution causes the deaths of approximately 7 million people worldwide each year and is the largest single environmental health risk in the world.

The main effects that pollutants cause in the environment are the greenhouse effect and acid rain, then of course they also lead to other problems such as the hole in the ozone layer and other less visible problems on flora and fauna.

The greenhouse effect: it is a climatic phenomenon which consists in the heating of the lower layers of the atmosphere, due to the effect of the shielding that some gases contained in it offer (greenhouse gases), the latter being transparent to shorter wavelength radiations and opaque to those with longer wavelengths, this means that radiations with shorter wavelengths are able to pass through these gases reaching the earth's surface, where they are partly absorbed and partly reflected.ù The absorbed part is released in the form of infrared which has a longer wavelength and therefore remains trapped by greenhouse gases.

The increase in the greenhouse effect following the industrial revolution was mainly caused by the release of fossil CO2 into the atmosphere.