June 25, 2022

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Eating shellfish is equivalent to “chewing plastic”?

Eating shellfish is equivalent to “chewing plastic”?

Eating shellfish is equivalent to “chewing plastic”? If you like seafood, maybe you will be “scared” by the content of this article. Because the mussels, oysters and scallops we eat often may contain a secret ingredient: microplastics.

Researchers from Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull in the United Kingdom reviewed and analyzed more than 50 studies from 2014 to 2020 to investigate the global level of microplastic pollution in fish and shellfish.

Eating shellfish is equivalent to "chewing plastic"? 

The results showed that the content of microplastics in mollusks was 0-10.5 per gram, the content of microplastics in crustaceans was 0.1-8.6 per gram, and the content of microplastics in fish was 0-2.9 per gram. Molluscs, such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops have the highest content of microplastics. Molluscs collected along the coast of Asia are most contaminated by microplastics. These areas are also relatively seriously polluted by plastics.

The study pointed out that the largest consumers of molluscs are China, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States, followed by Europe and the United Kingdom. The microplastics and plastic pollution in seafood are inseparable. Plastic waste flowing into oceans, lakes and rivers may enter shellfish, fish and marine mammals. By 2060, the global annual plastic waste generation is expected to triple, reaching 155 million to 265 million tons. It is precisely for this reason that in recent years there has been more and more research on microplastics.

In life, it is indeed difficult for us to avoid “microplastics”. In addition to the microplastics contained in seafood products, our commonly used disposable hot drink cups and tea bags are also the “hardest hit” of microplastics.

In a new study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials (Journal of Hazardous Materials), a research team from the Indian Institute of Technology found that hot coffee or other hot beverages in disposable paper cups are released into the beverage within 15 minutes Tens of thousands of potentially harmful substances, namely plastic particles.

The corresponding author of the study, Dr. Sudha Goel, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, said: “A paper cup filled with hot coffee or hot tea will degrade the microplastic layer in the cup within 15 minutes. It will degrade 25,000 micrometers in size. The particles are released into hot drinks. An ordinary person who drinks three cups of tea or coffee in a disposable paper cup every day will ingest 75,000 plastic particles invisible to the naked eye.”

Tea bags also unknowingly release microplastics. Experiments show that a plastic package can release approximately 11.6 billion microplastic particles and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles (nylon and polyethylene terephthalate) in water, several orders of magnitude higher than other foods. Drinking “plastic” while drinking tea!

Eating shellfish is equivalent to "chewing plastic"?
(The teabag releases microplastic particles)

Microplastics have already invaded the human body. The discovery of microplastics in human feces and stools is the strongest evidence that the human body contains microplastics.

Scientists are still trying to understand the human health effects of eating fish and shellfish contaminated by these waste plastic particles. At present, most research is still stuck in the discovery and detection of microplastics.

Study author Evangelos Danopoulos said that the full impact of microplastics on the human body is not fully understood at this stage, but early evidence from other studies suggests that they do cause harm. A key step in understanding the full impact on human consumption is to first fully determine the level of microplastics humans consume. We can start this work by observing how much seafood and fish are consumed and measuring the amount of microplastics in these organisms.

Some experts also believe that the plastic in the intestine will suppress the immune system and is beneficial to the spread of toxins, harmful bacteria and viruses, but this requires further research.

 

(sourceinternet, reference only)


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