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The Anthropocene Has Created A New Disease: Plasticosis

The Anthropocene Has Created A New Disease: Plasticosis thumbnail

A recently published study appearing in the journal PLOS ONE has found since 2005 a rapid increase in plastic particles in the oceans of the world. The data was collected from 11,777 surface water sampling stations. The research covers the period from 1995 to 2019 and estimates that between 1.1 and 4.9 million tons of floating plastic could be found in the upper water column of the ocean. See the distribution of plastic from the sampling stations in the map included below. Without intervention, the study estimated the volume of plastic would increase 2.6 times by 2040.

The sample distribution of plastic pollution was collected from 11,777 stations highlighted in purple. (Image credit: PLOS ONE)

The authors of the study stated that the environmental challenge begins with standardized monitoring and a global enforceable international agreement to stop plastic emissions.

Is Plastic an Environmental Hazard?

Plastic is one of the many products arising from the Industrial Revolution which began in the mid-19th century. Human-created synthetic plastics first appeared just prior to World War One. The material really came into large-scale use after World War Two where it replaced glass and other container materials for countless consumer products.

Discarded plastic persists in the environment for decades, if not centuries. A plastic water bottle tossed in the ocean can take up to 500 years to disintegrate into its chemical components. But before that, it breaks up and degrades into variable-sized particles and eventually microplastics that get ingested by marine wildlife, seabirds, and us.

A 2019 study entitled “Human Consumption of Microplastics,” appearing in the Journal, Environmental Science & Technology estimates that the average adult ingests 50,000 microplastic particles annually. Children ingest 40,000. Much of the study’s data comes from sampling tap water. It states further that people who drink bottled water are consuming as much as 130,000 microplastic particles per year. Other foods were not included in the study even though plastic particles are known to be in many of the consumer products we eat and drink including bread, processed meats, dairy, fruit and vegetables.

The scientists in 2019 didn’t know the implications of all of this ingested plastic on human health, but they expressed growing concern about exposure to microplastics as a potential threat.

The Health Threat Emerges: Plasticosis 

With a newly published study on seabirds, the evidence of the health threat is becoming real. Seabirds ingesting microplastics show evidence of plastic-induced fibrosis.

Fibrosis describes a condition where scarring forms in tissues eventually leading to adhesions and blockages. This impacts gastrointestinal, urinary, and endometrial tissue. The presence of microplastics causes extensive changes to tissue structures. The damage is unique to microplastic and not other indigestible items such as pumice that can be found in seabirds. The study notes that the “unique pathological properties of plastics” found in seabirds raise concern for other species exposed to these indigestible microparticles.

This illustration can be found in an article entitled, “Plasticosis: Characterising macro- and microplastic-associated fibrosis in seabird tissues” which will appear in the May 15, 2023 issues of the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

Examined seabirds show extensive scar tissue and altered collagen in their stomach tissue structures. The discoverers have given the condition a long and short name, Plastic-Induced Fibrotic Disease, or Plasticosis.

And although the presence of Plasticosis has only been reported in seabirds so far, it is likely much more widespread in marine wildlife, as well as in us with present and future long-term implications unknown.


5 Comments on "The Anthropocene Has Created A New Disease: Plasticosis"

  1. Dredd on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 11:36 am 

    “The Anthropocene Has Created” …

    You sayin’ that in your nomenclature a segment of time is a “creator” (Good Nomenclature: A Matter of Life and Death – 5)?

    No matter, the subject matter you present is very worthy and very timely.

  2. theluckycountry on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 2:38 pm 

    If you consider the current scientific belief that today’s animal and bird species evolved from slime in a completely toxic environment then a little plastic floating around is hardly worth worrying about.

    I certainly don’t worry about it, if I wanted to worry about anything I’d be concerned about the plutonium laced water leaking into the ocean from the ruined Fukushima plant. But no one is worried about that.

    The collapse of industrial civilization will solve many of these issues. Après moi, le déluge

  3. theluckycountry on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 3:16 pm 

    COVID-19 Vaccines Can Cause ‘Permanent Disabilities,’ Says German Health Minister

    Hahaha. Now go get your booster shots, like the government told you

  4. FamousDrScanlon on Mon, 20th Mar 2023 7:13 pm 

    The humans like to shit where they eat.

  5. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 22nd Mar 2023 9:04 pm 

    lucky, you can worry or don’t worry & the world can do the same – so you think something can’t hurt you based on how you think about it? That bullet speeding towards my head can’t hurt me because I’m not worried about it?

    And this world class pretzel logic has to be nominated as one of the dumbest most nonsensical pieces of denier reasoning I’ve heard this year.

    When stupid people think they are clever-lmao.

    You think something is not dangerous because the dumb fuck sheep are not worried about it?

    Scientists Fear Bird Flu Surge as Billions of Birds Start to Fly Home

    “The annual migration back to the northern hemisphere is likely to bring a new wave of H5N1, which is already affecting animals and humans.”

    “The risk to people could spike, too. The 2022-2023 bird flu outbreak has already claimed at least one human victim, in China last year. At least five other people have caught the virus and survived.

    This spring, more people could come into contact with infected animals. Epidemiologists are worried that people might start spreading bird flu to other people, too—raising the specter of a possible human bird flu pandemic.”
    Get ready bitches. Time to roll up your sleeves cause mandatory Vaxxing is coming for you for real this time. At least this time your hysterics will be able to be backed by actual evidence of someone holding you down and jab jab jabbing your arm.
    If they start hiring security to restrain idiots so their medicine can be jabbed into them, I’m signing up – gots to pay dem bill eh?

    Microplastics May Be a Significant Cause of Male Infertility


    Due to the problematic degradation properties of plastics, the decomposition of plastic results in the formation of numerous microplastics (MPs), less than 5 mm in diameter. These MPs enter the soil and the ocean, eventually passing through the air, water, or food chain back to the human body and harming human health. In the last 80 years, male semen analysis parameters have shown a significant decline for unknown reasons, speculated to be caused by pollutants. No studies examined the relationship between human MP exposure and male infertility. In this article, we reviewed the relevant animal experimental research literature in recent years and calculated that the minimum human equivalent dose of MPs leading to abnormal male semen quality is 0.016 mg/kg/d. The literature comparison found that MP exposure in Japan and South Korea was close to this value. These results suggest that MPs can affect male semen quality and that MPs may significantly impact male fertility.”

    It’s not an issue for the incel crowd at zerohedge. They should change their name to reflect the lives of their readers: ZERO-PUSSY
    Cocktail of chemical pollutants linked to falling sperm quality in research

    Exclusive: Study finds people have ‘astonishing’ levels of compounds thought to disrupt hormones

    Most of these problems will be taken care of by the deadly predicaments converging upon the humans. Self inflicted of course, but blameless since freewill is an illusion & delusion humans evolved to stay sane.
    Scientists give ‘final warning’ on climate change in UN report

    What a fucking joke. It’s like giving a dead man a final warning. A human die-back or die-off was baked in years ago. The humans are beyond fucked. Doubly so when combined with all their other Overshoot problems & predicaments.

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