Salt is an indispensable seasoning for us, but every time you add salt during cooking, you are likely to add micro-plastics that are hard to see by the naked eye. Micro-plastics are the decomposition of larger plastics in the environment. The size is less than 5 mm.
A few years ago, researchers discovered microplastics in sea salt. However, in this most popular seasoning, the distribution of plastic fragments is still unclear. Now, a new study finds that global sales More than 90% of the salt brands are contaminated with plastics, of which sea salt has the highest plastic content. Even the rock salt brand analyzed in the study has been found to be contaminated by microplastics.
Figure: More than 90% of the salt may be contaminated by plastic
The study was conducted jointly by researchers from South Korea and East Asia Greenpeace. The results were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. A total of 39 salt brands were investigated and only three were found to be free of microplastics. From Taiwan (refined sea salt), China (refined rock salt) and France (non-refined sea salt produced by solar evaporation).
This finding is consistent with previous studies on the discovery of plastics in salt, but recent research highlights the prevalence of plastic contamination, where salt from oceans, lakes and rocks is contaminated.
The study found that the density of microplastics found in different brands of salt varies widely, but the density of Asian brands is particularly high. The highest amount of microplastics is found in the salt sold in Indonesia. Asia is a high-incidence area for plastic pollution, and Indonesia With a coastline of 54,520 kilometers, it was listed as the second most serious country in terms of plastic pollution in an unrelated study in 2015.
Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has worked with researchers at the University of Minnesota on another study on salt. She said: 'The new findings have increased the impact of evaluating microplastics. 'New puzzle piece' ' .
Mason continued: 'They found that salt micro-plastics in Europe are more polluted. This fact is interesting. Although this is not surprising, you still need data support. Early research found in salt products sold in these countries. Microplastics, but we still don't know how much. The new research shows us that microplastics are everywhere.'
The new study estimates that adults consume an average of about 2,000 microplastics per year through salt, which means what remains a mystery.
Kim Seung-Kyu, a professor at Incheon University in South Korea, said: 'The results of the study show that human consumption of micro-plastics through seafood is closely related to plastic emissions in specific regions. To limit the micro-plastics we come into contact with, we need to take Preventive measures, such as poorly controlled plastic emissions, and more importantly, reduce plastic waste.'
Another recent study published by the University of York in the United Kingdom attempts to assess the environmental hazards of microplastics. It concludes that it is unclear whether microplastics will cause harm. A review of the current 320 studies found that There is a 'significant knowledge gap' in the scientific understanding of the effects of microplastics.
The problem of micro-plastics in bottled water is equally horrible. A recent report found that even half of freshwater insects are contaminated with micro-plastics.
Although efforts are being made to remove ubiquitous plastic waste from the ocean, there are other alternative materials coming soon, such as biodegradable algae plastics. However, even if these efforts are effective, many environments are already contaminated and new ones may need to be established as soon as possible. Craftsmanship to help filter out substances that are sometimes carcinogenic from the products we consume.