MICROPLASTICS, WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY THEY ARE DANGEROUS?

The amount of plastic we produce is enormous, 100 millions were the tons used in 2016.

A huge part of this plastic ends up into the ocean and because of the natural phenomena it is broken into little pieces that fish and birds mistake for food, begin to be part of the food-chain.

Eating those animals we are transitively introducing these toxic pieces in our corps.

Scientists are still studying the effects of those particles but they have already imagined that the chemicals contained in the plastic polymers can be very dangerous for the mankind.

HOW MUCH MICROPLASTICS DO WE INTRODUCE IN OUR CORPS?

The University of New Castle (Australia) has estimated the amount of microplastics that we introduce in our corps every month. They found out it to be an average of 5 grams per week, which means that we are currently eating the equivalent of a credit card!

Australian scientists have discovered that we get those fragments in our systems not only from animals but also from water and the air we breath.

Microplastics come from a wide variety of sources, such as personal care detergents  and  cosmetics.

For example, cleansers and toothpaste  contain “Micro-beads”which are granules of microplastics made of a polymer composed of polyethylene.

Whenever we use  these  products we let all components end up into the ocean.

Luckily , the president Obama has banned the “Micro-beads” thanks to the “Micro-beads free waters act of  2015” established on the 28th of December of 2015.

Moreover, a recent study made from the “King’s college” of London discovered clothes to be very polluting. If we look at the labels we have on our t-shirts or pants we immediately realize that they commonly contain a high percentage of plastic. 

Furthermore it has been discovered that in London the 92% of the microplastics are settled in the air  we breath.

Obviously, it is very tough for everyone to solve the whole  problem on his own  but what we can certainly do is trying to prevent it, following the rule: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, in all of our daily activities.

Riccardo Zamperetti

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