Estimate that microplates are in 90 percent of table salt

News from RÚV:

It can be estimated that microplastics are found in up to 90 percent of table salt sold worldwide. This is the result of a study by South Korean scientists and their colleagues from Greenpeace's East Asian division. Samples were taken from 39 common and popular types of table salt around the world. Microplastics were found in 36 of them.


One of the main findings of the study is that there is a strong correlation between plastic pollution in the salt production area and its microplastic content. This is not surprising, he says National Geographic news about the study, but has not been supported as much and reliable data until now.

The 39 salt species are from 21 countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa. The three species that did not prove to contain microplastics are purified sea salt from Taiwan, purified rock salt from China and unrefined sea salt from France. There was a great difference in the microplastic pollution of the different types of salt, among other things according to their origin. In general, most of the microplastics were in Asian salt and most of all in the popular, Indonesian salt. Plastic pollution is huge off the coast of Indonesia - which is a total of almost 55,000 kilometers long - and plastic pollution is nowhere greater than there, with the exception of China, according to another study from 2015. The new study, the results of which were published in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology this month, further revealed that in general it can be said that most of the microplastic is in sea salt, then in salt extracted from lakes but least in rock salt.

The researchers also estimate, based on their findings, that the average person ingests approximately 2,000 units of microplastic each year through salt intake. Little is still known about the potential effects of microplastics on human health. An article by National Geographic states that the results of a museum study by researchers at York University in England, which were published earlier this week, the main ones are that it is not possible to state whether and then what the effects are as there are far too many and large gaps in the knowledge of the scientific world there.

The museum study summarizes the results of 320 other studies, and Alistair Boxall, a professor at York University, says there is little evidence so far that microplastics have a significant negative effect on human health. However, much more and more extensive research is needed in this area.

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