Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, together with the British and Chilean colleagues found that the plastic polluting the oceans, creating a huge mass of microparticles that are new, as yet little understood threat to marine ecosystems and humans.
Increase in global production of plastic that ends up in the oceans is a serious threat to all living things. Especially dangerous microparticles plastic — dissolved pieces of plastic that can accumulate in living organisms. An international team of scientists has thoroughly analyzed all available information related to this type of pollution and believes that the study of their impact on the world's oceans should be paid attention to.
Microparticles of plastic — is essentially pieces of plastic objects greater than five millimeters. Most of these particles are smaller than a grain of sand or the tip of the needle. This property makes them particularly dangerous to marine life. Microparticles of plastic are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and efficiently absorbed by the body.
In their study, researchers used a network with cells 85 microns, allowing catch is 100,000 times more particles than a network with a mesh of 450 microns. Thus, the first time to see how far it can dissolve the plastic and how efficiently it can be absorbed by living organisms.
They also found that a large proportion of particulate plastic accounts for plastic pellets, which are used as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products, such as computer cases and other household items. Often, these pellets are loaded and transported carelessly, causing wind blows them into the sea. Many particles come from cosmetics and detergents: they fall into drains, rivers, and then into the sea. In addition, each plastic bottle or bag in the sea gradually disintegrates into countless micro — ultraviolet makes plastic brittle, crack it, and then the friction forces is ground into tiny dust.
It is still unknown how effective plastic microparticles can penetrate into rocks, deposited in the marsh, contact with salts, etc. Scientists are concerned the increasing pollution of the ocean with plastic, especially in light of the fact that we still do not know anything about the possible consequences of this contamination.