In a recent article published by Scientific American, titled:
PLASTIC FOUND IN MUSSELS FROM ARCTIC TO CHINA – ENTERS HUMAN FOOD
an article written by Alister Doyle on December 20, 2017
The article discusses the existence of micro- and nano-plastics in mussels from the European Arctic to China. This contamination is a sign of the spread of Plastic pollution in our oceans, and how it now affects our very own dinner plates. Chemicals such as BPA and BPS (Bisphenol-A and Bisphenol-S) are some of the chemicals known to leach into our water and foods.
“Mussels in apparently pristine Arctic waters had most plastic of any tested along the Norwegian coast, according to a study this month by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).
Plastics may be getting swept north by ocean currents and winds from Europe and America, ending up swirling around the Arctic Ocean, NIVA researcher Amy Lusher told Reuters.”
According to Amy Lusher, Microplastics were found in mussels everywhere scientists have looked.
There were surveys that confirmed the presence of microplastics off nations such as China, Chile, Canada, Britain, and Belgium. Off of Norway, the molluscs were discovered to contain on average 1.8bits with 4.3 in the Artic, of microplastics. Microplastics are classified as being smaller than 5mm long (0.2inches).
Chinese researchers mentioned some time last year, in 2016, that Mussels would be a global “bioindicator of Microplastic pollution” because unlike fish, molluscs live on the seabed and remain in the same area, collecting debris that settles to the bottom.
The article then mentions that the impact of microplastics’ on marine life or humans when eaten is unclear- But there is evidence that this statement is completely untrue, and dismissive of the danger it implicates on our current wellbeing and futures.
A professor at Plymouth University and an expert on microplastics, told Reuters of the worldwide finds, that the discovery of microplastics in molluscs was a warning signal which needs attention and something must be done to reduce the input of plastic in our oceans.
“it’s a cause for concern at the moment rather than an alarm story for human consumption,” he stated.
At the U.N. resolution, during the month of December, 2017, almost 200 nations signed to eliminate plastic pollution in the seas, ranging from bottles to supermarket bags and unnecessary food packaging, which is estimated to total around 8million tonnes a year.
“Thompson’s research has shown that extremely high levels of plastics in the seabed can harm animals such as lugworms living in the seabed and build up in their tissues.
Most bits of plastic, however, simply pass through the guts of creatures from shellfish to humans. Thompson said human exposure to microplastics in seafood was likely to be below that from everyday plastics ranging from toys to fleece jackets.
China and the European Union are the top producers of farmed mussels in a global business worth $3 billion.”
Will this business prevail or will plastic pollution overtake its place?