What's a dangerous seasoning called? A salt.
Following the earlier revelation of the plastic contamination in tap water, here's a much worse news: The microplastics are finding their way into the food chain through the most important seasoning of all-salt.
Lead researcher Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, and researchers at the University of Minnesota looked into beer, drinking water, and salt's microplastic contamination. For the latter (which is the latest), they examined 12 different kinds of salt including 10 sea salts. All of which are from US grocery stores around the world. And they have some disturbing results.
They found that a standard American who follows the public advice on consuming 2.3 grams of salt per day could be ingesting about 660 plastic particles each year! What's more alarming is the fact that 90% Americans eat more salt than the recommended amount which translates to consuming more plastics!
This is believed to be mainly from the microfibres and single-use plastics like water bottles. Bonus fact: according to UN, our oceans is continually being poisoned by around 12.7m tonnes of plastic every year! That's like dumping a garbage truck of plastic per minute into the marine life.
“Not only are plastics pervasive in our society in terms of daily use, but they are pervasive in the environment,” said Mason. Plastics are “ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use – plastics are just everywhere”.
However, just like the previous research, plastic's effect on our health is still unknown.
“There is no clear effect on human health because there are no studies on that subject,” said Juan Conesa, a professor who conducted research on sea salt at the University of Alicante in Spain. “But the increase of plastics in general in the environment will also [increase exposure],” he added.
Face scrubs, cosmetics, and shards of plastic bottles were even found in Chinese grocery stores' 15 different salt products! Today's plastic situation is so alarming that environmentalist even considered it as “rivals climate change”.
Can we still stop this seemingly inevitable plastic pervasion?
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