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Over 90% of sampled salt brands globally found to contain microplastics

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Staff Writer |
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World   The study has been published in Environmental Science & Technology

Over 90% of sampled salt brands globally were found to contain microplastics, with the highest number coming from salt sourced in Asia, according to a new study co-designed by Kim, Seung-Kyu, Professor at Incheon National University and Greenpeace East Asia.


The study, which has been published in Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, analyzed 39 various salt brands globally, showing that plastic contamination in sea salt was highest, followed by lake salt, then rock salt - an indicator of the levels of plastic pollution in the areas where the salt was sourced.

Only three of the salt brands studied did not contain any microplastic particles in the replicated samples.[3]

Building on previous studies of microplastic pollution in salt, this research is the first of its scale to look at contaminant levels of the geographical spread of sea salt, and its correlation with environmental discharge and pollution levels of plastics.

This new research findings of plastics in salt with the two sample results for Senegal showing the types of salt, the level of a yearly 1 ton 49 riverine plastic emission, and the presence of Microplastics in sea salt, are good indicators of the correlation between abundance micro plastics in sea salts, riverine plastic emissions, and micro plastic level in seawater.

It’s another big critical highlight that plastic pollution is a global crisis, and Africa, in particular, must take this issue seriously, as the ecosystem and human health in African seas could potentially be at greater risk because of severe maritime microplastics pollution.

Assuming intake of 10 grams per day of salt, the average adult consumer could ingest approximately 2,000 microplastics each year through salt alone, as the study suggests.

Even after discounting the highly contaminated Indonesian salt sample from this study, the average adult could still be consuming many hundreds of microplastics each year.

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