They could be in your water, fancy dinner or favorite sweater. Here’s a brief explanation on what they are and what we can do…
18 April 2019| Last updated on 21 April 2019
With all the articles, documentaries and news about plastic pollution’s horrific effects on our environment and water supplies, a new issue has reached public consciousness: Microplastics.
What are Microplastics?
Microplastics are very small plastic particles; smaller than 5 mm.
Where do they come from?
Microplastics come from a variety of sources.
The majority of microplastics are found in the ocean from the degrade of larger plastic items like bottles and plastic bags into smaller and smaller pieces.
However, the presence of microplastics in facial scrubs, beauty and personal care products like toothpaste is equally alarming.
In fact, some countries like Canada and the United States have taken action to ban microplastics from cosmetic products.
Another major source of microplastic fibers is synthetic textiles: acrylic, nylon, and polyester.
Do humans consume Microplastics?
The current situation of our oceans and great lakes has made aquatic animals susceptible to microplastic contamination, which in turn makes Seafood the first source through which humans are consuming microplastics.
However, new studies have shown that the microplastics in dust are a major source of micro-plastic consumption in humans, more than seafood.
Are Microplastics Harmful?
Not enough research has been conducted to discover definite effects of consuming microplastics just yet; however, some studies have shown that microplastics can absorb toxic chemicals.
How small these plastic nanoparticles can be is also an unanswered question to date, however, being significantly small in size could give it the ability to penetrate our bodies, the intestinal wall during digestion, and potentially the blood stream.
What Can We Do About It?
Plastic does not occur naturally. It is manufactured by us, humans.
The majority of people’s lifestyles are heavily reliant on plastic products. Followed by irresponsible disposal of plastic in the ocean, which in reality is a deliberate destruction of the ecosystem.
Instant elimination of microplastic exposure is extremely difficult due to the multiple areas of contamination and with no definitive answer as to how small the plastic particles can get.
What we can do is limit our exposure in the areas we know microplastics exists.
Here are some examples:
- Reduce the amount of plastic you buy and use: cut out bottled water, disposable coffee cups, disposable straws
- Avoid unnecessary plastic packaging
- Invest in reusable bottles and containers made of glass or natural materials
- Select environmentally friendly cleaning, personal care and beauty products: Check the ingredients of your toothpaste, facial, scrub and detergents at home: polyethylene is one type of microplastics
- Avoid buying polyester clothes or clothes that contain it
- Don’t give up seafood! Choose smaller fish over big sized ones as toxins can travel up the food chain
- Install a high-grade water filtration/purification system at home. Not only will it give you access to pure water you need to stay hydrated, cook with… etc, it will also save you money and help you cut down your plastic waste
With plastic bottles being a major contributor in this environmental dilemma, we can help you choose the water filtration system that best suits your needs and matches your water quality requirements.