How is micro plastic affecting our bloodstreams?

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

 

Plastic pollution threatens wildlife and our ecosystems, but most alarmingly, plastics directly threaten human health! We are consuming them in our food and drinking water with undetermined health consequences. Read on to find out more about how deep this problem runs and how we can protect ourselves!

  

  • MICROPLASTIC FIBERS HAVE BEEN FOUND IN: 83% OF DRINKING WATER WORLDWIDE, ALL SALT AND BEER, AND ¼ OF FISH.[1],[2],[3]
  • 95% OF ADULT URINE SAMPLES IN THE US CONTAIN TRACES OF PLASTIC![4]
  • AN AVERAGE TUB OF FACIAL SCRUB CONTAINS MORE THAN 330,000 MICROBEADS. IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT IN THE US, 8 TRILLION MICROBEADS END UP IN WATERWAYS EVERY DAY![5]

 

ROBERT SIMMONS

 

DRINKING WATER 

As highlighted above, 83% of drinking water worldwide is contaminated with microplastic fibers, and for the US this figure is as high as 94.4% of drinking water![6]

This plastic is getting into our waterways from the products we use and the way we manage our waste. Microplastics are in our personal care and home care products that we flush down the drain as well as in our clothing that sheds microplastic fibers in washing machines. We are literally bathing in plastic.

In fact, we are drinking plastic in our water from the bottles we package it in! A study by the WHO shows that 93% of bottled water tested contains microplastic debris.[7] In Nestle Pure Life, concentrations are as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per liter of water![8]

 

BENJAMIN VON WONG | vonwong.com

 

FOOD

First of all, plastic is a direct ingredient in what we put in our mouths. Gum is plastic. Although it used to be made out of chicle from trees, gum today is made out of plastics, rubber, and wax ~ the same materials used to manufacture car tires, inner tubes, and toys![9] We offer this petroleum, latex, PVA hybrid to children at parties and on airplanes…[10]

 

Chewing gum alone is responsible for 100,000 metric tons of plastic pollution every year![11]

  

As you’ve heard before, microplastics in the environment are consumed by marine organisms, accumulating up food chain and ending up on our plates in the seafood we consume. A joint study between UC Davis and Hasanuddin University of Indonesia found plastic materials in the guts of ¼ of fish sold in markets in both California and Indonesia. 

In California, the plastic is mostly in the form of fibers washed off from clothing in machines, while in Indonesia, the plastic is a symptom of the lack of waste management infrastructure.

 

DALE TROCKEL 

  

TAKE ACTION: Defend your body.

  1. Use products without plastic microbeads.
    1. Beat the Microbead has an extensive global list of products they recommend that are free from microbeads. They also have an App.
  2. Capture microfibers from your laundry.
    1. Guppy Friend provides an option for a washing bag to contain microfibers as they come out in the wash.
    2. Cora Ball provides an option to throw in a device with your wash that filters out microfibers, turning them into fuzz and collecting them.
  3. Use a reusable glass or stainless steel water bottle. A reusable bottle will save you from the debris that sheds in single-use plastic bottles. Glass and stainless steel are the most reliable and safe options.
  4. Spread awareness. As always, spreading awareness of an issue helps increase public attention and policy-makers will be more likely to respond. Share this article via your channels and teach your network how to be more harmonious humans!! <3

  

[1] https://orbmedia.org/stories/Invisibles_plastics/

[2] http://www.sph.umn.edu/news/plastic-particles-common-tap-water-beer-salt/

[3] https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/5446/quarter-fish-sold-markets-contain-man-made-debris

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791860/

[5] https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.5b03909

[6] https://cleantechnica.com/2017/09/10/94-us-tap-water-micro-plastic-fibers-study-finds-oh-sea-salt-beer-flour-honey-buy-well/

[7] https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/03/16/study-finds-microplastics-in-93-percent-of-bottled-water-infographic/#4bec68df73fa

[8] https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/03/16/study-finds-microplastics-in-93-percent-of-bottled-water-infographic/#4bec68df73fa

[9] https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/02/know-chewing-gum-contains-plastic-7790722/

[10] https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/what-is-in-chewing-gum/

[11] http://justoneocean.org/chewing-gum

 



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