We’ve been guilty of polluting the environment with plastic for a long time and there’s an ever-increasing amount of data showing the extent of the problem. A very recent study assessed the presence of plastic debris in fish and shellfish on sale for human consumption in Indonesia and California.
In Indonesia, plastic was found in 28 per cent of individual fish and in 55 per cent of all species. The majority was plastic fragments but also considerable amount of plastic foam was found, accompanied by plastic film and plastic monofilament line.
The journal Environmental Research published a study investigating the effects of fish consumption on children’s health. It confirmed that regular fish intake is responsible for increased levels of mercury in the blood. Even though the levels of fish-consuming children were below the potential risk level, researchers found that they had disrupted hormone (adrenocortical) function that may result in the development of physical and psychological disorders.
Dangerous environmental pollutants called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the first industrial compounds to experience a worldwide ban on production more than 30 years ago because of their potent toxicity. However, they are very persistent and therefore still present in our environment. Once in the body, PCBs accumulate in the fat tissue and can cause long-term problems such as reduced infection fighting ability, mental and behavioural problems, decreased activity of the thyroid, reproductive problems, can induce cancer and severely damage the development of a baby.