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Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020

So many things have been invented and developed that are hyped to be the answer to a problem. To name just a few – internal combustion engines, weed killers, vaping. And more recently, computers and cell phones. What’s disheartening is that after we use these commodities, we learn – usually many years later – about their negative impact. Cars emit carbon which contributes to global warming. Weed killers and other everyday products can cause cancer. Vaping may take the place of smoking but it appears to cause severe respiratory problems and even death.

But there is another creation that is on my mind. Plastic. So amazing. So light. So versatile. So strong. So everlasting. Well, now we know the downside as plastic articles and particles fill our oceans, waterways and landfills. And recently, I read an article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Hidden pollution in pristine Lake Tahoe: Microplastics.” Scientists are studying the problem to determine where the plastic microfibers are coming from. Turns out they can be transported long distances by rain, failing snow – and wind! I find that thought alarming. I am aware that plastic particles are being found in the guts of fish. And, of course, we then eat the fish. But I wasn’t afraid of the air we breath. Now I am. Now I realize we could be breathing in plastic microfibers!