Plastic has infiltrated our oceans, our fish, our salt — and now us.
That's right. According to CNN, a preliminary study conducted on eight participants found nine different types of microplastics in their stool samples.
It's unfortunate, but not really surprising.
According to CNN, everything from fish, beer, bottled water and even the air we breathe has been found to contain microplastic particles. And if humans are indeed getting microplastics from what they consume, the top of the food chain isn't the best place to be.
Scientific American reported that these small plastics — usually the result of larger plastic breaking down over time — are tiny enough to be eaten by just about anything.
So the plankton eat the plastic particles, then the krill eat the plankton, the fish eat the krill, and we eat the fish.
By that time, the accumulation of plastic is much higher than it was initially.
It's worth noting that the study had a very small sample size, and CNN reported that it can't yet be proven that diet alone was to blame. But no matter how the plastic got there — it did. And that's a pretty scary sign.
There hasn't been a lot of research conducted on microplastics, but the preliminary theories about what it does to you aren't good.
Scientific American reported that there's evidence that microplastic buildup can cause blood clots, affect fertility, damage organs and leach toxins into your body.
Another CNN article also reported that microplastics can carry bacteria with them that can build up in your system and make you sick.
Plastic may be a useful tool, but it's not good to eat it.
So if you ever thought the plastic pollution problem in the sea wasn't your problem, it sure is now. If you eat seafood, drink beer or bottled water, use table salt or even just breathe, you could be ingesting these toxic plastics.
That's why it is so imperative that we work together to clean the sea of its trash, stem the flow of future garbage into it and continue to do research about just what effects it can have on the ocean and on us.