Microplastic Pollution Identified In Sea Salt

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Microplastics Are Discovered Lurking in Commercial Sea Salt

Oceans are trashed with tiny plastic bits, collectively known as called microplastics.  In turn it is contaminating edible sea salt with bits of polyethylene terephthalate and cellophane.  Commercial products sampled in China, have reported for the first time that they could be contaminating sea salt.

They filtered 15 brands of commercial salt, including lake and rock varieties for comparison, and found as many as 681 plastic particles per kilogram of sea salt.  With this level of contamination unintentionally we are  consuming roughly 1,000 pieces of plastic a year.  Another study has estimated that many Europeans consume about 11,000 of these particles every year by eating contaminated shellfish.

The pollutants come from a variety of sources, including industrial waste, personal care products and plastic litter that degrade in the environment.  Other recent studies have shown that fragments of plastic with the majority measuring under 0.2 millimeters and shaded red, blue, white, and black, now make up a significant proportion of the sand on beaches around the world.  Plastic debris has been found in some of the deepest parts of the world’s oceans.  The rock and lake salts showed concentrations of plastic from 7 to 204 and 43 to 364 particles per kilogram, respectively.  Planktonic animals have been filmed eating microplastics, suggesting their impact on the food chain may be greater than anticipated.  Microplastics are a particular threat to organisms due to their small size and their capacity to absorb persistent organic pollutants.

This situation pose a major threat to food safety.

Video Source: New Scientist On YouTube

Source: City Lab

 

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