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  • Leopold Huber

Microplastics - An Invisible But Deadly Threat

Microplastics can be found everywhere; from the highest mountains to the deepest depths of the ocean. They are a silent toxin that slowly poisons everywhere it goes.

Microplastics are defined as plastic particles less than 5mm in diameter. But what is plastic? Plastic is a polymer made of crude oil and natural gas. It is cheap, lightweight, easy to produce and can be melted into any shape. Because of this, it can be found in almost all products today. It is in electronics, packaging, construction, clothing and much more. Humanity is now reliant on this “super material.”

But the one downside of plastics is their impact on the environment. Plastics degrade incredibly slowly and are synthetically manufactured. So, they pile up in the environment as increasingly more of them get thrown away. When this happens, the plastic slowly breaks apart into microplastics and disperses into the local ecosystem. And when microplastics get caught in a storm or float through the ocean they can get transported hundreds of kilometers to anywhere on earth.

Microplastics have a large and noticeable effect on the environment and on ecosystems. They are found in many animals as microplastics can travel up the food chain. For example: a plankton absorbs a piece of microplastic. Then a fish consumes the plankton, which now has plastic in its system. Then a human eats the fish and absorbs the plastic into their body.

The small size of the microplastics is what makes them so dangerous. They can be found in our food, water and air without us noticing them. They can even be found in our bodies. So far microplastics have been found in human blood, organs and muscles. Even though the exact effects of plastic within our bodies haven’t been discovered yet, it is known that exposure can have long term health effects.


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