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By Ruby Prosser Scully Sydney residents are taking precautions against air pollutionBloomberg/Getty ImagesSmoke from the bushfires raging near Sydney in Australia has been blanketing the city in recent weeks, reaching a crisis

Sinclair Stammers/Science Photo Library“CAN’T be seen, can’t be smelled, can’t be heard, but can be stopped.” That warning, issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services, is about carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty heaters. It could equally apply to a newly recognised threat, except for the last part. Microplastics can’t be seen, can’t be smelled, can’t be heard – and can’t be stopped. As a result of our 50-year addiction to plastics, microplastics are