Scientists have detected microplastic pollution in Lake Tahoe’s deep blue waters for the first time. Now they are trying to determine its source and potential harm to the lake’s flora and fauna.
Preliminary analyses of water samples collected by researchers at the Desert Research Institute in Reno revealed the presence of particles of synthetic fiber and bits of red and blue plastic no bigger than the head of a pin.
“On one level, we’re heartbroken and disappointed by this discovery,” said Monica Arienzo, an assistant research professor at the institute and leader of the investigation. “We really hoped we wouldn’t find much of this material in Tahoe’s water, which is almost entirely snow melt.”
At the same time, she said, the team is looking forward “to diving deep into the many questions and concerns it raises.”
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