It’s too late, our bodies are already full of micro and nanoplastics. As Mark O’Connell writes in the New York Times: “There is plastic in our bodies; it’s in our lungs and in our bowels and in the blood that pulses through us. We can’t see it, and we can’t feel it, but it is there. It is there in the water we drink and the food we eat, and even in the air that we breathe. We don’t know, yet, what it’s doing to us, because we have only quite recently become aware of its presence; but since we have learned of it, it has become a source of profound and multifarious cultural anxiety.”
There has not yet been enough research in humans to know what effect these tiny pieces of plastic have on our bodies, but studies in fish and sea birds are disturbing. Scientists have found that microplastics in these animals causes infertility, decline in intelligence and premature death. Since we are animals, too, research may find that these conditions may happen in us as well. Studies show that people who work in the plastic industry or in recycling suffer disproportionately from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as do residents of communities adjacent to plastic production and waste disposal sites. Ecowatch has published a great article on microplastics, Microplastics 101, to give us a full picture.
What can be done about this? We all need to join the movement to rid the earth, and now ourselves, of single use plastic and to reduce our use of all plastic involved in food storage. The first thing to do is to inform yourself, your family and neighbors of the dangers by reading and sharing the articles linked here. Then, come back to “Care for Creation” next week for practical ways to rid your home of plastic.