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Scientists have discovered huge quantities of microplastics in the Thames river body that is detrimental to humans and animals alike. Tonnes of microplastics accumulate in the water which is consumed by marine fauna.This has severe harmful effects on their health ranging from brain damage, and poisoning, to changes in reproductive cycles. Plastic even gets accumulated in the bodies of insects like lugworms.
The Zoological Society of London and the Natural History Museum collaborated on the research to find staggering evidence of the extent of microplastics contaminating Thames.
Researchers have found bits of plastic in the bodies of birds and crabs in and around the Thames. Microfibres essentially consist of plastics that have been found inside the bodies of fish collected from the Thames.
The sources of plastics are items of daily use such as wet wipes, glitter, pens and bags. Plastic bottles are thrown into the canals by people after consuming the contents, these then get degraded into microplastics by the time they reach larger water bodies like the Thames, attracting toxic chemicals, and are eaten by fish, which are in turn consumed by humans.
In our world today, plastics pollution is so bad, that just the country of UK alone discards 700,000 plastic bottles a day. Most end up in landfills or waterways like the Thames river. We have to fight this problem. Time to go to #BottleStations (TM) pic.twitter.com/K02OQOdS9w— L. Marcucci, MD (@SkipMarcucciMD) July 13, 2020
Even our food chain is getting polluted by the presence of microplastics at the primary level, thus affecting the entire chain.
The planet's marine ecosystem is facing the brunt of the problem. Studies have shown that entire reefs are being formed from accumulation of synthetic polymers near the shoreline. These come from washing machines from which thousands of microfibers flow into the sewerage system to be ultimately dumped into the Thames.
Rivers in countries like USA, Germany, Italy and Romania have significantly lower amount of microplastics than the Thames in England.
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