Plastic Apocalypse: Alarming Levels Of Plastic Found In Children

New studies are being published that detail high levels of dangerous microplastics had been detected in some of the most remote regions of the world. Another study warned microplastics are turning up in human stool. Now there are new reports that show high levels of microplastics have been found in blood and urine samples of children.

The study, conducted by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute, found an alarming 97% of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017 had traces of microplastics.

Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, published the findings over the weekend, which were part of a national study focused on “human biomonitoring” of 3 to 17-year-olds, found traces of 11 out of 15 plastic ingredients in the collected samples.

“Our study clearly shows that plastic ingredients, which are rising in production, are also showing up more and more in the body. It is really worrying that the youngest children are most affected as the most sensitive group,” Marike Kolossa-Gehring, one of the study’s authors, told the magazine.

Researchers found perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also used in cleaning products, waterproof clothing, food packaging, and cooking utensils, was present in the blood and urine samples.

PFOA has been described as a dangerous chemical that is toxic to the liver. The EU will outlaw the substance next year.

In at least 20% of the 2,500 children tested, microplastics were above safe government limits. Children from low-income regions were more susceptible to ingesting plastics than ones from the middle class and wealthy areas.

“It can not be that every fourth child between the ages of three and five is so heavily burdened with chemicals that long-term damage cannot be reliably ruled out,” said Hoffmann, adding that “the Federal Government must make every effort to protect people from harmful chemicals.”

Der Spiegel said the study hadn’t been published, and the results were only made available by the government upon request by the Green Party.

Hoffmann said there’s not enough research on how microplastics affect the body, and how exactly they’re ingested. ,,,

https://www.zerohedge.com/health/plastic-apocalypse-alarming-levels-plastic-found-children

It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains

The discovery, published in a recent study (pdf) titled “It is raining plastic”, raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth.

“I think the most important result that we can share with the American public is that there’s more plastic out there than meets the eye,” said Wetherbee. “It’s in the rain, it’s in the snow. It’s a part of our environment now.”

Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers, as well as beads and shards. The findings shocked Wetherbee, who had been collecting the samples in order to study nitrogen pollution.

Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers.
Rainwater samples collected across Colorado and analyzed under a microscope contained a rainbow of plastic fibers. Photograph: USGS

“My results are purely accidental,” he said, though they are consistent with another recent study that found microplastics in the Pyrenees, suggesting plastic particles could travel with the wind for hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometers. Other studies have turned up microplastics in the deepest reaches of the ocean, in UK lakes and rivers and in US groundwater.

A major contributor is trash, said Sherri Mason, a microplastics researcher and sustainability coordinator at Penn State Behrend. More than 90% of plastic waste is not recycled, and as it slowly degrades it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. “Plastic fibers also break off your clothes every time you wash them,” Mason said, and plastic particles are byproducts of a variety of industrial processes.

It’s impossible to trace the tiny pieces back to their sources, Mason said, but almost anything that’s made of plastic could be shedding particles into the atmosphere. “And then those particles get incorporated into water droplets when it rains,” she added, then wash into rivers, lakes, bays and oceans and filter into groundwater sources.

Though scientists have been studying plastic pollution in the ocean for more than a decade, they can only account for 1% of it. Researchers know even less about the amount of plastic in freshwater and in the air, said Stefan Krause at the University of Birmingham. “We haven’t really started quantifying it,” he said.

Another unknown is whether it would be theoretically possible to flush all plastic out of the natural world, and how long that might take. “Even if we waved a magic wand and stopped using plastic, it’s unclear how long plastic would continue to circulate through our rivers waters systems,” he said. “Based on what we do know about plastic found in deep sources of groundwater, and accumulated in rivers, I would guess centuries.”…

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/12/raining-plastic-colorado-usgs-microplastics

It’s snowing microplastics in the arctic

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/its-snowing-microplastics-in-the-arctic/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.