'Alarming' level of microplastics found in a major U.S. river
Scientists describe the biodiverse Tennessee River as an “underwater rain forest,” but plastic may put the ecosystem in jeopardy.
When Andreas Fath decided to conduct a survey to see what contaminants were lurking in the Tennessee River, he wanted to do it in a way that would get attention.
“If you want to reach people, I've noticed that it's better to do something crazy,” says the German professor of medical and life science from Furtwangen University.
Fath combined his two passions—”long-distance swimming and chemical research”—to swim the 652-mile Tennessee River over the course of 34 days last summer. It was inspired by a similar swim through the Rhine River in Germany he completed in 2014. Along the way he took water samples, and what he found doesn't bode well for the ecologically rich and biodiverse Tennessee River.
After conducting a lab