Plastic pollution not only threats the oceans but also human health. Microplastics have made their way to our kitchen tables.
What applies for fish applies to us also. The difference is fishes ingest microplastic in seas and we ingest microplastics through sea salt.
Sea salt– a seasoning ingredient produced by the evaporation of sea water. It promotes human health and has been one of the most important ingredients in cooking worldwide.
It is a false belief to consider dumping plastic waste in oceans as an easy solution. Because plastics disintegrate in oceans and affect aquatic life. Did you know that these plastics could enter our food through sea salt?
Polypropylene and polyethylene – the two major plastic contaminate found in sea salt. These two durable plastics are used in bags, bottle caps, lunch boxes and more. Avoiding disposable plastics could help in reducing these contaminants.
A US-based study from April 2018 tested 12 brands of commercial sea salt, all had traces of plastic debris. Sea salts tested resulted to have an average of 212 particles of microplastic per Kg. While a 2017 study analysing commercial salts from eight countries found similar results.
What does this mean for us?
Well, it isn’t entirely clear if plastic could affect us. Because the long-term harmful effects of consumption of plastic remain unknown. But scientists believe the accumulation of microplastics could cause particle, chemical, and microbial hazards.
Looking at other alternatives for sea salt seems like a healthy option. Replacing sea salt with rock salt, pink salt and others could help to escape from microplastics. But, plastic production is expected to increase resulting in tons of plastic waste. With time exposure to microplastics will also increase. Accumulation of plastic might result in a new disease breakout.
So, let’s take some responsible steps to reduce plastic waste. If you know ways to reduce plastic please do share. Together let us make sure at least the future living beings do not get exposed to so many contaminates like we do.