Next greatest threat after global warming?

I’m glad I was able to announce a new way to feed aquaculture in my last post, because I’m fast becoming convinced that seafood is no longer good for you. It’s not seafood any longer, but concentrated toxic waste! Why? Because of the plastic we’re dumping in the ocean, which somehow attracts and concentrates other toxins from the seawater. There’s something nasty happening at a molecular level. Plastics accumulate all the other nasty toxins and chemicals floating in the oceans: somehow all that toxic filth just sticks to plastic.

To make matters worse, older plastics floating on the surface eventually break down under sunlight, but they don’t biodegrade. No, these toxic little beasts soak up everything ‘strange in the neighbourhood’, and are then eaten by the smallest fish in the ocean. They then accumulate up the food chain, concentrating more and more toxins into ever larger fish which we then eat. As the 5 Gyres Institute says:

In the ocean, some of these plastics- Polycarbonate, Polystrene, and PETE- sink, while LDPE, HDPE, Polypropylene, and foamed plastics float on the oceans surface. Sunlight and wave action cause these floating plastics to fragment, breaking into increasingly smaller particles, but never completely disappearing- at least on any documented time scale. This plastic pollution is becoming a hazard for marine wildlife, and ultimately for us.

And, a few clicks later…

As plastic particles circulate through oceans, they act as sponges for waterborne contaminants such as PCBs, DDT and other pesticides, PAHs and many hydrocarbons washed through our watersheds. These persistent organic pollutants, called “POPs”, absorb and adsorb onto plastic pollution in high concentrations. Plastic pollution is not a benign material in the ocean. Scientists are studying whether these POPs transfer to the marine organisms that mistakingly consume them…..

44% of all seabird species, 22% of Cetaceans, all sea turtle species, and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

When marine animals consume plastic trash, presumably mistaking it for food, this can lead to internal blockages, dehydration, starvation, and potentially death.

Also of deep concern for societies are the potential human health impacts of toxic chemicals entering the marine food chain through plastics. Science is beginning to ask the question: do chemicals such as PCBs and DDTs that sorb onto plastic pellets get into the tissues and blood of the animals that eat plastic? Do these chemicals work their way up the food chain, becoming increasingly concentrated and potentially entering our bodies when we eat seafood?

This is the 5gyres.org home page,

and this is their page of global research.

Can you help me improve this page?

What I’m after are the best short-youtube movies that are short, fact filled and punchy. I’ve seen painfully long documentaries on this subject that take 20 minutes just to show and explain how the ‘garbage patches’ are not actually floating islands of garbage, but more of a soup. I prefer something snappy. Then I’ll create a permanent wordpress page that I gradually update on this sad subject.

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This entry was posted in Ecology, Ocean, Plastic, Pollution. Bookmark the permalink.

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