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How Does Plastic Pollution Affect Humans

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How Does Plastic Pollution Affect Humans – Ocean pollution is widespread, worsening and a clear and present danger to human health and well-being. But the extent of this danger has not been widely understood – until now. Our recent study provides the first comprehensive assessment of the impact of ocean pollution on human health.

Ocean pollution is a complex mix of toxic metals, plastics, manufactured chemicals, petroleum, urban and industrial waste, pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceutical chemicals, agricultural runoff and sewage. More than 80% comes from land-based sources and reaches the oceans through rivers, surface runoff, atmospheric deposition – where air pollutants are carried to the ocean by rain and snow – and direct discharges, such as pollution from sewage treatment plants . and discarded waste. Ocean pollution is heaviest near coasts and most concentrated along the coasts of low- and middle-income countries.

How Does Plastic Pollution Affect Humans

Ocean pollution can also be found far beyond national jurisdictions, in the open oceans, in the deepest ocean trenches, and on the coasts of remote islands. Ocean pollution knows no borders.

Uk Government To Investigate Whether Microplastics Pose Risk To Human Health

Plastic waste is the most visible component of ocean pollution. More than ten million tons of plastic enter the seas every year. Most of them break down into microplastic particles and accumulate in coastal and deep-sea sediments.

Some large chunks float in the water for decades, ending up in massive concentrations where currents converge and circulate. The so-called “garbage patch” in the Pacific Ocean is a well-known example.

Microplastics contain several toxic chemicals that are added to plastics to make them flexible, colorful, waterproof or flame resistant. These include carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors – chemicals that interfere with hormones and can cause cancer, birth defects and reduced fertility.

These chemical-laden particles enter the food chain and accumulate in fish and shellfish. When people eat seafood contaminated with these materials, we ingest millions of microplastic particles and the many chemicals they carry. Although there is still debate about the harm caused to humans by microplastics, exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of all the diseases they cause. Virtually all of us have microplastics in our bodies today.

Why Is There So Much Plastic In The Ocean?

Mercury is widespread in the oceans and the main culprit is the burning of coal in homes and industry. All coal contains mercury, and when it burns, the mercury vaporizes, enters the atmosphere, and is eventually washed out to sea. Gold mining is another source, as mercury is used to dissolve the gold in the ore.

Mercury can accumulate to high levels in predatory fish such as tuna and swordfish, which in turn are consumed by us. Contaminated fish can be particularly dangerous if consumed by pregnant women. Exposure to mercury in children in the womb can affect brain development, lowering IQ and increasing risks of autism, ADHD and other learning disorders. Mercury exposure in adults increases the risk of heart disease and dementia.

Oil pollutants from oil spills threaten marine microorganisms that produce much of the Earth’s oxygen, reducing their ability to photosynthesize. These beneficial microorganisms use solar energy to convert atmospheric CO₂ into oxygen and are also affected by organic pollutants and other chemicals. When a major oil spill occurs, the impact can be enormous.

Coastal pollution caused by industrial waste, agricultural runoff, pesticides and sewage increases the frequency of harmful algal blooms, known as red tides, brown tides and green tides. These flowers produce powerful toxins, such as ciguatera and domoic acid, which accumulate in fish and shellfish. When ingested, these toxins can cause dementia, amnesia, paralysis and even rapid death. When inhaled, they can cause asthma.

Oceans Littered With 171 Trillion Plastic Pieces

Dangerous microorganisms result from a combination of coastal pollution and warming seas, which encourages their spread. Harmful bacteria like vibrio species – found in warmer waters and responsible for vibriosis, a potentially fatal disease – are now appearing further north and causing potentially fatal infections. There is a high risk that cholera, caused by

And the health effects of ocean pollution fall disproportionately on indigenous peoples, coastal communities and vulnerable populations in the Global South, underscoring the planetary scale of this environmental injustice.

While the findings of this report are alarming, the good news is that ocean pollution, like all forms of pollution, can be controlled and prevented. Banning single-use plastics and better waste sorting can reduce pollution at the source, especially plastic waste, both on land and at sea.

Wise governments have reduced other forms of pollution by implementing control strategies based on law, policy, technology and specific enforcement. The US, for example, has reduced air pollution by 70% since passing the Clean Air Act in 1970. It has saved thousands of lives. They have proven to be extremely economical.

The Effects Of Plastic Pollution On Human Health

Countries around the world are now applying the same tools to control ocean pollution. Boston Harbor in Massachusetts and Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong were cleaned up. Estuaries from the Chesapeake Bay in the US to the Seto Inland Sea in Japan have been rejuvenated. Some coral reefs have been restored, such as those in American Samoa, where surveillance, protection, and rapid response to various pollution threats have occurred.

These successes boosted economies, increased tourism, restored fisheries and improved health. They demonstrate that widespread control of ocean pollution is feasible and that its benefits will last for centuries. Our study offers some clear recommendations for preventing and controlling ocean pollution, including transitioning to cleaner energy, developing affordable alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastics, reducing human, agricultural and industrial discharges, and expanding protected marine areas.

Protecting the planet is a global concern and our collective responsibility. Leaders who recognize the seriousness of ocean pollution, acknowledge its growing dangers, engage civil society, and take bold, evidence-based action to stop pollution at the source will be essential to preventing ocean pollution and protecting our own health.

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 170,800 academics and researchers from 4,735 institutions. The global accumulation of plastic waste has reached crisis levels. The diverse and multifaceted impact of plastic on biological health leads to an assessment of these effects from a One Health perspective, through which the complexity of these processes can be integrated and understood more clearly. Plastic particles ranging in size from nanometers to meters are found in every ecosystem on Earth, from the deepest ocean trenches to the highest mountains. Plastic waste affects all layers of biological organization, from the molecular and cellular levels to the organismal, community and ecosystem levels. These effects are not only mediated by the physical properties of plastics, but also by the chemical properties of plastic polymers, the thousands of additives combined with plastics during production, and the absorbed chemicals and microbes that are carried by plastic waste. Using a One Health framework, we provide an overview of the following themes: 1) ways in which plastic impacts global health at levels of biological organization, 2) how the effects of plastic interact across layers of biology, and 3) what gaps in knowledge exists in understanding the effects of plastic within and across biological scales. We also propose potential solutions to address this growing crisis, with an emphasis on One Health perspectives that consider the unity of animals, humans and the environment.

Plastic Pollution By Covid 19 Pandemic: An Urge For Sustainable Approaches To Protect The Environment

Plastics are ubiquitous in our society. Demand for plastic has soared since the 1950s due to its cheap, strong, durable and lightweight properties (Thompson et al., 2009). As a result, plastic pollution is now found across the planet, including along coastlines (Kwon et al., 2014; Courtene-Jones et al., 2021), in the open ocean (Eriksen et al., 2013; Cózar et al., 2013; al., 2013; Cózar et al., 2014), the deep sea (Bergmann et al., 2017; Barrett et al., 2020), soils (Fuller and Gautam, 2016) and the atmosphere (González -Pleiter et al., 2021). Current estimates suggest that there are at least 5.25 billion plastic particles in the world’s oceans, a number that is expected to increase (Eriksen et al., 2014). In fact, the amount of plastic pollution entering land and water environments is predicted to increase by an additional 710 million metric tons between 2016 and 2040, even if immediate steps are taken to reduce waste (Lau et al., 2020). . These plastics are degraded by biotic and abiotic processes in the environment, such as bacterial activity, UV light, temperature and abrasion, resulting in smaller fragments with altered surface properties. These smaller plastics, classified as microplastics (<5 mm) and nanoplastics (<1 µm), are the most widespread type of solid waste, especially in the aquatic environment (Jambeck et al., 2015; Gigault et al., 2018). ). Additionally, both types of small plastics (called micro- and nanoplastics) can be found in commercial and industrial items.

The ubiquity of plastics in the biosphere has made interactions with animals and humans inevitable. A large number of marine species are affected by plastics (Gall and Thompson, 2015). Microplastics are found in fish, clams, mussels, oysters and crabs intended for human consumption ( Van Cauwenberghe and Janssen, 2014 ; Li et al., 2015 ; Rochman et al., 2015 ; Karami et al., 2017 ; Su et al. . . , 2018; Waite et al., 2018), as well as table and sea salt (Yang et al., 2015; Zarus et al., 2021), seaweed (Baini et al., 2017), honey (Liebezeit and Liebezeit ), 2013; Liebezeit and Liebezeit, 2015), tea (Hernandez et al., 2019), beer (Kosuth et al., 2018), and tap and bottled water (Kosuth et al., 2018; Zuccarello et al., 2019; Kankanige and Babel , 2020). Microplastics have also been documented in the human body, (e.g.

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