Researchers found the plastitar at several islands within the Canary Islands and suspect these formations can be found in other parts of the world as well. The plastic fragments studied were overwhelmingly polyethylene, the most common type of plastic globally. Polyethylene is used for everything, from cling wrap and plastic bags to detergent bottles and milk jugs. It’s also found in housewares, toys, and other ubiquitous objects.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in tar, which are persistent organic pollutants that can bioaccumulate, have moderate to high acute toxicity to aquatic organisms. They can also act as endocrine disruptors and be carcinogenic, among others. Its combination with plastic materials clearly supposes a double threat to the marine ecosystem with unknown environmental consequences, since plastics can be ingested by marine organisms causing intestinal blockage, internal injuries, oxidative stress and damage, inflammatory responses, among other important issues. The study authors stress that more research is needed on the environmental threats this newly defined type of pollution could pose to marine life. (source: ecowatch.com)
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