Which Seafood Has the Most Microplastics?
MONDAY, December 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Those mussels, oysters and scallops on your plate may contain a secret ingredient: microplastics.
Researchers at Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull in the UK reviewed more than 50 studies (from 2014 to 2020) to investigate the levels of microplastic contamination around the world in fish and shellfish.
The researchers found that mollusks (like clams, mussels, oysters and scallops) had the highest levels. Molluscs collected off the coast of Asia were the most contaminated by microplastics. The researchers suggested that these areas are more heavily polluted with plastic.
Scientists are still trying to understand the health implications of humans who consume fish and shellfish contaminated with these tiny particles of plastic waste, according to the report.
“No one yet fully understands the impact of microplastics on the human body, but the first evidence from other studies suggests that they cause damage,” said study author Evangelos Danopoulos. He is a postgraduate student at Hull York Medical School.
“A critical step in understanding the full impact on human consumption is to first fully establish what levels of microplastics humans are ingesting,” Danopoulos said in a press release from the University of York. “We can start to do this by looking at the amount of seafood and fish eaten and measuring the amount of [microplastics] in these creatures. “
Research has shown that the microplastic content is 0-10.5 microplastics per gram in mollusks, 0.1-8.6 microplastics per gram in crustaceans, and 0-2.9 microplastics per gram in fish. .
The biggest consumers of shellfish are China, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States, followed by Europe and the United Kingdom, the study’s authors noted.
Plastic waste that ends up in oceans, lakes and rivers can end up in crustaceans, fish and marine mammals. The plastic waste generated worldwide is expected to triple from 155 to 265 million metric tons per year by 2060.
The researchers said more data is needed in different parts of the world to understand how the problem varies between different oceans, seas and waterways. They said there was a need to standardize the methods of measuring microplastic contamination so that it could be more easily compared.
The report was published online on December 23 in the newspaper Environmental health perspectives.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association of the United States has information on ocean pollution.
SOURCE: University of York, press release, December 23, 2020
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