The study focused on particles 100 microns (0.10 millimeter) or smaller; 100 microns is about the size of a period at the end of a sentence or a grain of salt or sand, said Mason, who is the chair of the Geology and Environmental Sciences department at the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Microplastics are fragments or fibers (which often come from clothing or the air) that are either broken down from a larger plastic item or they are manufactured into that small size on purpose, such as the microbeads found in face scrubs and body washes.
Generally speaking, microplastics are everywhere because plastic is everywhere. "We are living in a plastic age and using it in almost every situation in our lives, which makes it very difficult to avoid — it's all around us," Martin Wagner, associate professor of biology at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) told BuzzFeed News. There are microplastics in our homes, schools, offices, cars, clothing, cookware, toys, phones, and the list keeps going. They can be ingested or inhaled.
As a result of our mass plastic consumption, nature is filled with plastic too.
"Microplastics are found in various places in the environment and in different species of animals and smaller organisms in the food chain," John Meeker, professor of environmental health sciences at University of Michigan School of Public Health told BuzzFeed News. So there are microplastics in soil, sediments, lakes, oceans, plankton, birds, fish, etc.