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Researchers are Finding Microplastics in Sea Salt, Adding to Worries About Plastic Pollution in Our Diets

Source: The Guardian/Jessica Glenza - September 12, 2017 in Environment, Featured

Researchers are Finding Microplastics in Sea Salt, Adding to Worries About Plastic Pollution in Our Diets
Photo: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets.

Following this week’s revelations in the Guardian about levels of plastic contamination in tap water, new studies have shown that tiny particles have been found in sea salt in the UK, France and Spain, as well as China and now the US.

Researchers believe the majority of the contamination comes from microfibresand single-use plastics such as water bottles, items that comprise the majority of plastic waste. Up to 12.7m tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, equivalent to dumping one garbage truck of plastic per minute into the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations.

“Not only are plastics pervasive in our society in terms of daily use, but they are pervasive in the environment,” said Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, who led the latest research into plastic contamination in salt.

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