Is Sea Salt Really Contaminated with Microplastics? Let’s Find Out

According to a recent environmental study, more than 90 percent of salt that’s sold globally has microplastics, with the highest level being present in sea salt.

For the purposes of the study, 39 different brands of salt from 21 countries were studied, including the China and the US, according to Greenpeace.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic which is smaller than 5 mm.

It’s created during the breakdown of bigger plastic items.

But, salt isn’t the only food we consume microplastics from- it was also discovered that 90 percent of some of the most popular brands of bottled water have microplastics.

According to Greenpeace, we may be consuming around 2000 tiny pieces of microplastics on a yearly basis from salt.

Human Microplastics Ingestion through Marine Products

According to the findings from the study, human consumption of microplastics through marine products is linked with the plastic emissions in a certain region.

Seung-Kyu Kim, professor and author of the study, explains that to reduce our exposure to microplastics, prevention plays a vital role.

Some of these measures include control of the eco discharge of mismanaged plastics and reduction of plastic waste.

Microplastics have also been discovered in seafood, wildlife, and tap water, claims Greenpeace.

The environment organization explains that this is the first study of this scale to test the spread of microplastics in salt globally.

How Is Sea Salt Produced?

Sea salt is made through the evaporation of seawater and it was found to have the highest amount of plastic.

The second place was taken by lake salt, and the third was of rock salt acquired from underground deposits of salt. The study didn’t list any specific brands of salt and emphasized that only three sources of salt were free of microplastics.

One was refined Tai sea salt, refined Chinese rock salt, and unrefined sea salt made by solar evaporation in France.

The Crisis of Plastic Pollution Continues?

For a campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, ‘it’s evident that there’s no escape from the crisis of plastic waste, which continues to go into our oceans and waterways’.

Fish and other marine animals also consume microplastics.

Garbage like plastic straws, plastic single-use utensils, and milk jugs break down into microplastics into waters through waves, sunlight, and weather.

According to a report by the UN, more than 800 animal species were contaminated with plastic, which is a 70 percent increase as of the 70s.

Sources:

SCIENCE DIRECT

CBS NEWS

DAILY HEALTH POST

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