In this interesting article from Smithsonian Magazine author Joseph Stromberg examines a frightening phenomenon in which microplastic particles in the ocean are absorbing harmful chemicals. These chemical-laced plastic pieces are mistaken for food by fish and thereby the chemicals enter the food chain. The effects of bioaccumulation and biomagnification mean that the fish we eat may contain increased amounts of these toxins.
Researchers conducted controlled lab experiments with some troubling results:
“We saw significantly greater concentrations of many toxic chemicals in the fish that were fed the plastic that had been in the ocean, compared to the fish that got either clean plastic or no plastic at all,” Rochman says. “So, is plastic a vector for these chemicals to transfer to fish or to our food chain? We’re now fairly confident that the answer is yes.”
Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/11/how-plastic-pollution-can-carry-flame-retardants-into-your-sushi/#ixzz2mANYHCMw
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter