Microplastics may be tiny but they represent a less than tiny problem, especially to marine life in the sea. When we wake up in the morning and wash our face with a gentle exfoliating face-wash, or even when we simply brush our teeth, we could be inadvertently washing tiny particles of plastic down our drains.
Increasing amounts of litter are ending up in the world’s oceans and harming the health of ecosystems, killing animals when they become trapped or swallow the litter. Human health is also at risk, as plastics may break down into smaller pieces that may subsequently end up in our food. These are just a few of the problems emerging from the waste collecting in our seas.
Getting designated as a World Heritage Site is quite an honor, a classification granted to only the truly special and precious sites in all the world. Along with this honor comes more tourists, which unfortunately brings more pollution.
Mt. Fuji, the national symbol of Japan, was designated as a World Heritage Site in June 2013.The sight of this majestic volcano, with it's almost symmetrical shape and flattened summit, takes every Japanese person to a very special place
Plastic debris litters aquatic habitats globally, the majority of which is microscopic (< 1[emsp14]mm), and is ingested by a large range of species. Risks associated with such small fragments come from the material itself and from chemical pollutants that sorb to it from surrounding water. Hazards associated with the complex mixture of plastic and accumulated pollutants are largely unknown. Here, we show that fish, exposed to a mixture of polyethylene with chemical pollutants sorbed from the marine environment, bioaccumulate these chemical pollutants and suffer liver toxicity and pathology. Fish fed virgin polyethylene fragments also show signs of stress, although less severe than fish fed marine polyethylene fragments. We provide baseline information regarding the bioaccumulation of chemicals and associated health effects from plastic ingestion in fish and demonstrate that future assessments should consider the complex mixture of the plastic material and their associated chemical pollutants.
Researchers have created a new model that could help determine what area of the world is to blame for each ocean garbage patch of floating debris – a difficult task for a system as complex and massive as the ocean. The researchers describe the model in a paper published in the journal Chaos.