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This isn't for the birds

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This isn't for the birds

I feel like I just wrote about microplastics several weeks ago (because I did), but unfortunately we've got more research to dive into. And guess who we have to thank again for the bad news? You guessed it ... greedy corporations!

The main bulk of plastic polymers polluting our planet are in the form of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene. These are found mainly in food/drink containers and plastic bags AND they are distinctly mentioned across all these landmark studies we're about to look at.

Plastics are infiltrating every inch of the planet and all species that inhabit it. From the deepest ocean depths to the highest mountain peaks, our human activity has made it everywhere. Did you know 97% of all polar birds were found to have microplastics in their little bodies?

It's sobering to think that bottle of water someone had to buy at Wawa (which has about 240,000 nanoplastic particles they willingly paid to ingest) actually degrades all the way into a Emperor Penguins mouth.

But who cares about birds that live 10,000 miles away from us? It's not our problem, it's theirs! Right? Right?

Plastic particles have an adverse effect on human biology. Studies have found those who have particles in a main artery are 4.5 times more likely to die from heart attack or stroke following a surgical procedure. Eek.

These pollutants disrupt the endocrine system, which causes estrogen/testosterone imbalance and metabolic disorders. Surely it isn't a total coincidence we've watched obesity rates quadruple since 1990. Over one billion obese individuals exists on earth, many of whom do not reside in a first-world country.

But who cares about the problems of a malnourished country? As long as my kids will be okay, that's all that matters! Right? Right?

Not so fast. Another landmark study found every single tested human placenta was present with microplastics. With this tissue around just a short eight months, it's inconceivable to think about the long-term health effects that are in store for those born today.

It isn't all bad news, though! States and cities have banned single-use plastic bags in stores, which has helped to eliminate over 300 bags per person per year. It's a start, but more of us need to act if we're going to turn this thing around.

I hope this highlights just how damaging convenience-driven living is to the health of everything around us and allows for an introspective look into your relationship with plastics. Take a good look at where you can make small sacrifices to secure a future worthwhile for all!


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