#Bye2019 – What We Learned This Year About Plastic & Pollution

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Our world is becoming more polluted than ever before, whether it is about our soil, land, air or water. Here are 8 key studies that taught us a bit more about the pollution we’ve caused our planet, and what that pollution is doing to us.

1. Air Pollution Nanoparticles Linked To Brain Cancer

In a study conducted in cities across Canada, scientists found that an increase in pollution exposure of 10,000 nanoparticles per cubic centimeter is associated with one additional case of brain cancer in every 100,000. 

2. Plastic Byproducts Are Found In Over 97% Of Children Tested

Microplastic pollution can be found literally in children. The study, conducted by the German Environmental Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute found plastic byproducts in almost all blood and urine samples taken from children between the ages of 3 and 17.

3. Air Pollution Exposure In China Associated With Silent Miscarriages

A Chinese study has found that maternal exposure to air pollution is associated with an increased burden of fetus disease and missed or “silent” miscarriages.

4. Microplastics Are Falling From The Sky

We are now experiencing plastic rain. Researchers have discovered a plethora of multi-coloured microscopic plastic fibres in rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains in the United States.

5. You’re Consuming Over 50,000 Plastic Particles Annually

According to the first study published on human ingestion of plastic pollution, we are eating and breathing in an average of 50,000 particles of microplastic a year.

6. Microplastic Pollution Is Absolutely Everywhere

Studies from Asia to the UK has revealed that microplastic pollution is much wider in scope and scale than previously imagined – it’s even in your table salt!

7. Hong Kong’s Plastic Seas Are Getting Worse

This comprehensive study carried out in the territory’s waters across Mirs Bay, Sai Kung and Lantau Island found a staggering 11-fold increase in plastic pollution in just 3 years

8. Water Pollution Will Threaten All Our SDGs

The World Bank’s report warns that water pollution will pose an issue for nearly every single SDG – from health to the economy, education and agriculture. And in rich and poor countries alike!

Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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