New studies have found plastic particles in breast milk and in Nile fish

New studies have found plastic particles in breast milk and in Nile fish
New studies have found plastic particles in breast milk and in Nile fish

New studies have found plastic particles in breast milk and in Nile fish

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Plastic: all around us and now also in our bodies

Is there an alternative to nylon bags?

So says one of the respondents to a BBC poll on the streets of Kuwait and Cairo, an opinion shared by many.

Maybe they are right and they see plastic being imposed on them in their daily lives, from bags to plastic bottles and containers,

Why should we think about getting rid of plastic?” Or why would every plastic bag or bottle become dangerous to our lives?” The answer to these questions lies in some statistics.

plastic in numbers

• According to Factory Direct statistics, 5 trillion plastic bags are produced annually. It takes 1000 years for a bag to decompose

• Every minute, people use more than a million plastic bottles, and only 10 percent of those bottles are recycled.

• According to a survey conducted by Plastic Ocean, a total of 380 tons of plastic are produced annually. So far, 9 billion tons of plastic have been produced, which is roughly the weight of all people who have ever walked the earth.

• Plastic takes thousands of years to decompose, meaning every piece of plastic has been on the face of the earth since it was invented just 122 years ago.

plastic in our bodies

But plastic not only surrounds us, it also invades our bodies, according to a new study by Italy’s Politecnica delle Marche.

The study, the results of which were published in the journal Polymers, demonstrated the presence of small plastic particles in breast milk. Milk samples from 34 mothers a week after giving birth showed that 75 percent of them were plastic.

Other studies have proven that plastic particles cause human cell death and are one of the causes of cancer, while other studies are being conducted on the extent to which these particles can reach the brain.

Where do the plastic particles that end up in our bodies come from?

These particles come from the air we breathe, with plastic accounting for 20 to 40 percent of household aerosols. It, in turn, comes from furniture, bedspreads and clothing, most of which are made of plastic.

Our food is also full of plastic that comes from packaging residues or is ingested by poultry, livestock and fish.

At Royal Holloway in London, Professor Dave Morett spends his working hours studying microplastics in fish in the UK.

Speaking to BBC staff while dissecting a crab, the professor says: “Parts of plastic that we find in fish are often obvious, this one looks like something out of a damp handkerchief.”

More than 13 billion tons of plastic are dumped into the seas and oceans every year. This breaks down and turns into pieces and particles that are ingested by marine organisms.

The sizes of the plastic pieces found in the fish Mort works on vary from large sizes that can be observed with the naked eye to others that require a microscope.

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The professor spoke to BBC staff while dissecting a crab

It is no different in Arab countries

In a study published in the journal MBDA, conducted by a group of researchers over a period of months on Nile fish samples, results found that 75 percent of the fish contained plastic particles.

In his interview with the BBC, Shadi Khalil, co-founder of Egypt’s Grench Project, which works to find solutions to environmental problems, says plastic problems vary by type and the economic value of each type. “There are types who are less dangerous than others.”

For example, although plastic bottles are a problem, they are less dangerous than plastic bags because the former have a higher economic value.

“While workers in the Zabbaleen neighborhood of Manshiet Nasser, Cairo, search for bottles to be recycled, a process that leaves a lot of plastic behind. Plastic bags are not collected” and are carried through the air and end up in waterways.

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Shadi Khalil, co-founder of the Egyptian Grinch Project, which works to find solutions to environmental problems

Has plastic become a reality that cannot be disposed of?

“There was no plastic in our lives 50 years ago,” says Khalil. Where the use of plastic spread in the 1950s. Before that, the main focus was on paper and glass containers.

People can reconcile not having plastic like they used to, “but the bigger question is, are governments and plastic-producing companies ready to stop?”

Shady says the answer is no: “Companies that use plastic as a cheap alternative to packaging are unwilling to change.” Shady is also asking government officials to review the medical costs of health problems caused by the spread of plastic , “which are much higher than the cost of switching to plastic alternatives”.

#studies #plastic #particles #breast #milk #Nile #fish

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