New research has found that marine molluscs such as mussels, oysters and scallops contain the highest levels of microplastic contamination of any seafood

The team, led by members of Hull York Medical School and Hull University, analyzed more than 50 studies on the topic of microplastic contamination in seafood These have been published between 2014 and 2020 and have worked with species ranging from fish to crustaceans all over the world

«A crucial step in understanding the total impact on human consumption [plastics] first is to completely establish the levels of microplastics that humans [MP] ingest», says Evangelos Danopoulos, postgraduate student at Hull York Medical School and paper co-author «We can start to do this by looking at the amount of seafood and fish eaten and measuring the MP counts of these creatures.”

Microplastics are produced by the breakdown of larger plastic particles that slowly break down; some are made outright, as additives for cleaning or beauty products Finally, they make their way through rivers and the ocean through sewage Once there, MPs are often ingested by wildlife, what confuses them with pieces of food Microplastics resist digestion and accumulation in the body of animals

Every time we eat seafood, we also absorb the plastics they have ingested in their lifetimes PM contamination is not limited to seafood, but it is more pronounced here than in any other type of environment The team found that the microplastic content varied between 0 and 105 microplastics per gram (MP / g) in molluscs, 01-86 MP / g in shellfish, 0-29 MP / g of fish

«Microplastics have been found in various parts of organisms such as the intestines and liver», explains Danopoulos «Seafood species like oysters, mussels and scallops are eaten whole, while in larger fish and mammals, only parts are consumed Therefore, understanding the microplastic contamination of specific parts of the body and their consumption by humans is essential.”

“No one yet fully understands the impact of microplastics on the human body, but early evidence from other studies suggests they are harmful”

China, Australia and Canada are the world's largest consumers of shellfish, also noted the team, followed by Japan, the United States, from Europe and the United Kingdom. Those caught off the coast of Asia tended to see the highest levels of contamination, which suggests that these areas are the most polluted by plastics and microplastics.

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Results show the scale of the plastic pollution problem facing our planet Production of these materials is expected to triple by now 2060, which means it will only get worse in the future unless action is taken quickly to make it happen, however, we need to get a clearer picture of the problem, and the team explains that we need standardized methods of measuring microplastic contamination levels, and more field data to see how different oceans and waterways are affected. by them

The article «Microplastic contamination of seafood intended for human consumption: systematic review and meta-analysis» was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives

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Molluscs, microplastics, pollution, sea ​​food, mussels

News – FR – Shellfish are the most plastic-filled seafood in the world
Associated title :
Shellfish are the most plastic-filled seafood in the world
Highest levels of microplastics found in mollusks, according to a new study


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