Polyester Clothing Polluting Oceans

polyester clothing and microplasticsA team of international researchers have discovered that polyester clothing is polluting the oceans with microplastics.

The researchers found that plastic debris less than 1 millimeter in diameter are released when polyester clothing is machine washed. Their analyses found that a single wash will release more than 1900 fibers of microplastics per piece of clothing.

Microplastics have been found to be accumulating within our oceans. They contaminate shorelines and bioaccumulate among the various populations of fish and other species in the oceans.

This study, performed by scientists from Ireland, Australia, the UK and Canada, conducted water study tests at 18 shorelines around the world. They found that microplastics were accumulating among these shorelines and contaminating the sea life in those regions.

The study was published in the Environmental Science and Technology.

Other research on microplastics have been conducted by Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Captain Moore is famous for raising awareness of the “great Pacific garbage patch” – an area of plastic and microplastic accumulation on the Pacific ocean the size of Texas. Further research has found that plastic bags and other plastic materials break down over time and form these microplastic particles, which also bioaccumulate among sea life.

Captain Moore’s research discovered – to the horror of many – that microplastic accumulation in the region outweighed the quantity of zooplankton by a factor of six to one. A visit to the region one year ago found that the microplastic levels have increased by 600%.


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Browne MA, Crump P, Niven SJ, Teuten E, Tonkin A, Galloway T, Thompson R. Accumulation of microplastic on shorelines woldwide: sources and sinks. Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Nov 1;45(21):9175-9.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with nature by surfing, hiking, running, biking and according to Dad, being a total beach bum.

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