Scientists have been worried about the potential harms of microplastics for years.
Scientists have been worried about the potential harms of microplastics for years. These small plastic particles less than 5 mm in length have been found everywhere because of plastic pollution – from the Earth’s deep oceans to remote regions in Antarctica, and even the seafood we eat. But, are microplastics really harmful?
An international team of scientists, including researchers from McGill University, have found evidence that microplastics in the digestive tract of seabirds altered the microbiome of the gut – increasing the presence of pathogens and antibiotic-resistant microbes, while decreasing the beneficial bacteria found in the intestines.
“Our findings reflect the circumstances of animals in the wild. Since humans also uptake microplastics from the environment and through food, this study should act as a warning for us," say the authors.
Read more at: McGill University
Photo Credit: Christopher Pham.