A recent study by Indonesia’s Andalas University found that people may be consuming over 1,000 microplastics a year through table salt. The study, involving tests on 21 table salt brands, found that every brand contained micro fragments of plastic, fibers, films, and pellets. Consumption of microplastics has been linked to cancer, heart disease, dementia, and fertility problems.
Published in the Global Journal of Environmental Science and Management, the study was based on salt brands readily accessible in Indonesia. The aim was to examine if global table salt supplies, a significant portion of which are sourced from Indonesia and subsequently exported to the U.S., Singapore, and the Czech Republic, are contaminated with microplastics. The study did not mention the brand names studied.
Researchers detected up to 33 particles per kilogram of table salt, suggesting people consume more than 1,000 microplastics annually.
According to the study, researchers “successfully identified four different forms of microplastics contained in all 21 salt samples, of which fragments are the most common (67.49 percent), followed by fibers (23.82 percent), films (6.08 percent), and pellets (2.61 percent) as secondary components.”
“Salt can be contaminated by water taken from the sea to make the salt, which may contain microplastics, organic matter, and sand particles, as well as during its manufacture,” the study explains.
After carefully removing organic impurities through a controlled process, samples were thoroughly examined under a microscope. In addition to the four forms of microplastics, researchers also identified four types of polymers: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyester — all of which have potential implications for human health.
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