Tiny Baubles

Microplastic Mess Threatens World Oceans




Fotos593/Shutterstock.com

Scientists from the University of Hull and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have published research in the journal Science of the Total Environment showing levels of microplastics are five times higher in the Antarctic than previous estimates.

Co-author Dr. Claire Waluda, a BAS biologist, says, “We have monitored the presence of large plastic items in Antarctica for more than 30 years. While we know that bigger pieces can be ingested by seabirds or cause entanglements in seals, the effects of microplastics on marine animals in the Southern Ocean are as yet unknown.”

The tiny beads of plastic come from cosmetics or are shreddings from larger plastic items like clothing or bottles. According to United Nations sources, they may number as many as 51 trillion particles across the seafloor, throughout the oceans and on beaches worldwide. They are considered a serious threat to marine life in general. More international monitoring of the situation is needed, including a requirement for all polar research stations to provide waste treatment options.


For more information, see Tinyurl.com/PlasticInAntarctica.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

Hemp CBD Addresses Stress and Combats Inflammation

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) extract is proving to be of medical value.

Big Breakfast, Lower Body Mass

People that make breakfast their largest meal of the day have lower body mass, while those that make dinner the biggest meal are likely to weigh more, a recent study concluded.

Zinc Inhibits Throat Cancer

University of Texas researchers have found that zinc supplements can inhibit or slow the growth of esophageal cancer cells.

Moderate Exercise Guards Against Depression

A mere one hour of exercise a week reduced depression in 12 percent of Norwegian study participants.

Add your comment: