It’s a known reality that plastics find their way into the oceans in all their forms. Sea life is severely affected by this. Plastics are unintentionally eaten by marine creatures and birds, mistaken for their appearance. Studies published in the Environmental Science Journal in 2008 by Charles Moore, a chemist and oceanographer, showed how over 260 organisms of the oceanic world faced the dangers of dumping plastic into the oceans. The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ has been named as one such region between Hawaii and California. Until recently, it was assumed that plastic disintegration was a lengthy process that took several years.Do you want to learn more? Visit official site
A surprising study was developed by researchers at the American Chemical Society at its 238th National Conference. They say the plastic waste that accumulates in the ocean water breaks down very easily. Dr Katsuhiko Saido of Nihon University of Japan, who is the leader of this study documented how the decay period is significantly reduced by constant exposure to the light, chemicals in the water, rain and other factors.
Originally, a team of researchers in Japan conducted the study. Water bodies have been surveyed in the United States, Japan and Europe. Important traces of a compound called polystyrene in various forms were present. This is related to the widely used hard plastic that we use. The breakdown of polystyrene was performed as an experiment in an attempt to prove the validity of the findings. Toxic chemicals such as BPA (Bisphenol A), ST (Styrene trimer), SD (styrene dimer) and SMM have been found to occur at about thirty degrees Celsius and have been published (styrene monomer). Such toxic by-products have a detrimental effect on marine organisms. BPA impedes the normal animal reproductive cycle, and cancer can be caused by the monomer. In places where water currents cross each other with the plastic debris trapped in the centre, the breakdown allegedly occurs.
To make matters worse, plastic sinks down as chemical compounds in its broken down state. This means that the inhabitants of the deep sea are not spared from harmful by-products. Other toxic products dumped into oceans in the atmosphere can come across plastic floating around on the surface. This means that through the residues accrued on the plastic surface, marine organisms, which might otherwise avoid such harmful materials, will still be exposed to them. The disintegration takes place at a particular temperature range that is mainly found in tropical waters. This makes the effect on warmer waters widespread. The degree of harm done is particularly common and has been going on for a long time. Through the food chain, marine life is directly linked to us humans. This means that in some way or the other, which is a frightening thought, chemicals such as Bisphenol A have passed on to our bodies. Strong or soft plastic, toxic as it is inside the bodies of animals does not break down that quickly. In the other side, without even being aware of it the hints of the chemicals through which it breaks down are sucked into the scheme. The last resort is a common attempt to avoid industrial and personal plastic waste from hitting the oceans.