“I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics. There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it? Enough said.”
Yes, “Enough said.” Those were the words from the movie The Graduate 58 years ago, a time not too long ago when the world was not full of plastic.
What was not said in the movie was that the future in plastics would be deadly.
Researchers from England’s University of Hull announced last week that they discovered microplastics within human veins for the first time.
Prof. Jeanette Rotchell said in a press release that the discovery was significant because it marked the first time that it seemed these microplastics crossed from blood vessels into vascular tissue.
The researchers said the most common microplastic found in veins were alkyd resin, which is often associated with synthetic paints, and polyvinyl acetate, which is found in food packaging, RT, the Russian news outlet, reported.
These researchers said they are still trying to determine the health impact that these microplastics could have on humans, and noted that earlier laboratory tests have already shown that the substances could cause “inflammation and stress responses.” There is also concern that microplastics could interfere with coronary bypass procedures by “damaging the inside of the vein leading to it becoming blocked with the passage of time.”
Studies say, humans, on average, may take in 0.1-5 g of microplastics weekly through various pathways each day. Microplastics could also be ingested through water, shellfish, salt, beer, honey, and other common household items.
These nanoplastics can impact human health by entering cells, crossing the blood-brain barrier, and could build up in organs like the liver, brain, and testicles.
“The people who invented plastics all those decades ago, who were very proud of inventions that transformed society in many ways—I doubt they envisaged that plastics were going to end up floating around in the atmosphere and potentially influencing the global climate system,” Laura Revell, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, told Yale University. “We are still learning what the impacts are for humans, ecosystems, and climate. But certainly, from what we know so far, it doesn’t look good.”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has called attention to these issues because our politicians made such an effort to mask the public, enforce “social distancing,” and lock the world down during the COVID-19 outbreak. There is hardly a word about microplastics and so-called “forever-chemicals” that could be impacting the health of millions. (See “WILL COVID KILL YOU? 74 MILLION METRIC TONS OF MICROPLASTICS FOUND IN AUCKLAND’S ATMOSPHERE” 20 Dec 2022, “FOREVER CHEMICALS? MAYBE NOT SO MUCH” 31 Jan 2023, and “STATES BEGIN TO CRACK DOWN ON ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ FOLLOWING OUR ‘GOING GREEN’ FORECAST” 17 Jan 2023.)
The problem with plastics will only get worse. Yale noted that global annual production of plastics has jumped from 2 million tons in 1950 to more than 450 million tons today.
TRENDPOST: As posted on condorferries.co.uk:
● More than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution every year.
● 100 percent of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs.
● There are now 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic in our ocean & 46,000 pieces in every square mile of ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.
● Every day around 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans.
● The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is around 1.6 million square kilometers—bigger than Texas.
● The world produces 381 million tonnes in plastic waste yearly—this is set to double by 2034.
● 50 percent of this is single-use plastic & only 9 percent has ever been recycled.
● Over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging are used in the U.K. each year.
● 88 percent of the sea’s surface is polluted by plastic waste.
● Between 8 to 14 million tonnes enter our ocean every year.
● Britain contributes an estimated 1.7 million tonnes of plastic annually.
● The U.S. contributes 38 million tonnes of plastic every year.
● Plastic packaging is the biggest culprit, resulting in 80 million tonnes of waste yearly from the U.S. alone.
● On U.K. beaches there are 5000 pieces of plastic & 150 plastic bottles for each mile.
● More than 1 million plastic bags end up in the trash every minute.
● The world uses over 500 billion plastic bags a year—that’s 150 for each person on Earth.
● 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, but only 1 percent of straws end up as waste in the ocean.
● By 2020 the number of plastics in the sea will be higher than the number of fish.
● 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption contains plastic.
● Plastic microbeads are estimated to be one million times more toxic than the seawater around them.
● Products containing microbeads can release 100,000 tiny beads with just one squeeze.