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Seabirds + ocean plastic swallowed = ‘plasticosis’ | The Conversation

March 21, 2023

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

I recently read somewhere that every human being on earth has plastic in their body. Among its known effects are changes to our endocrine systems: testosterone, estrogen, oxytocin, melatonin, corticotropin. And there’s all those “unknown unknowns.” As with DDT, seabirds (Brown Pelicans in that case) may be the ‘canary in the coal mine’ yet again. We’re not talking about plastic toys, vegetable bags, and the fenders off your electric plastic car, but microplastics, particles small enough to float around your bloodstream and collect in your organs, clogging and dissolving into ever-smaller particles. Might this be affecting our minds and behavior?

Seabirds that swallow ocean plastic waste have scarring in their stomachs – scientists have named this disease ‘plasticosis’
The Conversation | Matthew Savoca, Stanford University | 21 March 2023

From the Article:

Numerous laboratory studies, some dating back a decade, have demonstrated chronic effects on invertebrates, mammals, birds and fish from ingesting plastic. They include changes in behavior, loss of body weight and condition, reduced feeding rates, decreased ability to produce offspring, chemical imbalances in organisms’ bodies and changes in gene expression, to name a few.

The article contains a 4-minute YouTube from Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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