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Guest Nicole

Even your sea salt is almost certainly contaminated with plastic

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Guest Nicole -
James Thomas Rook Jr. -
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Guest Nicole

What goes around, comes around, eventually. The latest karmic zinger is how likely you now are to find plastic particles, from packaging you might have once used, in your sea salt.

Each year, humans dump 13 million metric tons of plastic into the ocean. Some of that plastic begins its life as tiny particles, such as microbeads in face scrubs and toothpaste; others as larger pieces that get broken down through mechanical or chemical means. Estimates vary, but there’s no doubt the amount of plastic now in the oceans is substantial: one 2014 study found that there are more than 5 trillion plastic pieces sharing the seas with marine life, 92% of which are microplastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in size.

Of the many ways that microplastics make their way back to us, the simplest one is through the food cycle. Tiny marine organisms like krill ingest microplastics, which are about the same size as the zooplankton they feed on. The krill then get eaten by salmon, which eventually are served in restaurants around the world. Just in case mercury concentrations weren’t enough to show us the consequences of a fish-eat-fish world, persistent plastics are a painful reminder.

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There is of course, that ... but even MORE insidious is that during World War II American submarines used Mercury as ballast, because it would flow, and could be pumped, and when they had to dump the ballast to surface the boat, the Mercury settled into low points on the ocean floor in large pools .... contaminating the local flora and fauna ( ... that means vegetation and animal life, for those in Rio Linda ...). 

The price of Mercury today made it economical to salvage those subsurface pools of Mercury, and much was recovered ... however, it could not be used, because it was contaminated with Tuna Fish.

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