Pennsylvania alone has 5,600 miles of dead waterways polluted by years of coal mining and poor disposal of microplastics according to sustainability times.
PennEnvironment released a study showing that out of 50 waterways in Pennsylvania tested, 100% of them had remnants of microplastics, 100% had microfibers, 94.3% had microfilms, 86.8% had micro fragments and 1.9% had microbeads.
Pollution is a major issue around the entire world, and if we continue to litter and burn fossil fuels the way we do now many species of plants and animals will continue to suffer.
Habitat loss, loss of clean air, nutrients and water become damaged or lost due to the pollutants.
Humans consume many animal and plant products that are affected by pollution.
The greatest number of animals affected by pollution are fish and other ocean wildlife.
They often consume small bits of microplastics from the garbage left by beachgoers, poor disposal of waste, or boaters as well as oil that is left behind by boats or large companies according to Pennenvironment.
In return, these pollutants become embedded in the sea life’s organs and body systems.
When people consume those fish or marine life, those chemicals will then enter human bodies.
This means that people have toxic microplastics and toxins in their systems that can alter bodily functions.
Fish are often monitored and tested to ensure that they can be sold for consumption.
This is because ocean life can have up to a certain amount of toxins in its body before they become deadly or potentially toxic to our health.
If the fish exceeds the predetermined quantity of toxins in their systems, then they may not be sold or consumed.
The levels of toxins and plastics that are suggested to be in the waterways could be just the tip of the iceberg,
PennEnvironment states that up to 99% of the plastics in waterways could be unaccounted for and not being added to the data.
To lower the amount of garbage and toxins entering waterways requires that people dispose of waste properly and safely.
This is a very easy step that can be taken, yes it does not seem like much but if each person starts composting, recycling, and disposing of oils and chemicals properly then it will make a huge difference in the amount of toxic waste entering oceans and rivers.
Proper waste disposal will ensure that the oceans can remain healthy and provide healthy fish and marine life for food and other materials for generations to come.
The statistics mentioned above will only get worse, with higher concentrations of plastics if we do not take action now.
The healthier the fish, the safer they are for us to consume.
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