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

Posted Wednesday, 14 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)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."

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Sonos, a company known for its wireless speakers, announced earlier this week that certain older products would lose software support come this May. On Thursday, amid backlash, the CEO walked back those statements."All Sonos products will continue...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)23andMe, an at-home DNA testing company, is laying off 100 people, or about 14% of its workforce, the company confirmed to CNN Business on Thursday.News of the layoffs, first reported by CNBC, comes amid waning demand for consumer...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)The National Archives on Wednesday installed an original photograph of the 2017 Women's March days after removing an altered one that censored signs referencing women's anatomy and President Donald Trump's name.The original photograph,...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN)A group of women who allege they were abused by disgraced OB-GYN Robert Hadden called for the resignation of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Thursday.At an early-morning news conference outside New York's City Hall, Hadden...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)This year's song of the year Grammy nominees may seem to mostly be about love, but let's go a little deeper than that.The eight nominees actually have some valuable life lessons if you listen closely.Check it out:"Always Remember Us This...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A pediatric healthcare worker in Michigan was ill with tuberculosis and didn't know it while working in several locations over nine months, the state's health department said.The worker was recently diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, and the...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Thursday played a 1999 video of Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham arguing that "high crimes" don't "even need to be a crime," a statement that runs counter to a central Republican talking point in...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

David A. Andelman, Executive Director of The RedLines Project, is a contributor to CNN where his columns won the Deadline Club Award for Best Opinion Writing. Author of "A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today," and the forthcoming...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Philadelphia Police are investigating a man's claim that Gritty, the mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, punched his teenage son in the back.Chris Greenwell, a season ticket holder of more than two decades from Delaware, told CNN the...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

January 24, 2020January 2020 marks 75 years since Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Today's show features reports on the camp itself and a Holocaust remembrance center in Israel. We're also explaining what it ...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)More than two months after announcing a review of his work, The Hill newspaper has yet to complete its promised evaluation of columns written by John Solomon, a former executive at the outlet who during his time at the publication...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)A Libyan man who acted as a scout for the Islamist militia that stormed the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012 was sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison Thursday by a federal judge in Washington. Mustafa al-Imam was convicted last...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)One of the stars of NBC's "This Is Us" is headed to the Academy Awards stage.Chrissy Metz is set to be among the musical performers at the upcoming Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday. Metz will be performing...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)White supremacist Christopher Cantwell has been arrested and charged with sending an extortionate and threatening interstate message, according to the FBI office in Boston.Cantwell was one of the organizers of the hate-filled marches through...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington, DC (CNN)A bill that would expand voting rights to some immigrants who are not US citizens was introduced Thursday in the New York City Council. City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, is sponsoring the...