Pollution is threatening everybody from all around the world. Like a plague that is slowly spreading around the globe. Unfortunately, table salt is the latest “thing” touched by its grubby little fingers, according to a paper from Shanghai’s East China Normal University.
As a result of being supplied by seawater, researchers at the university hypothesized that Chinese sea salts contained high levels of microplastics. With further research, they found that the microplastic content in the sea salts tested was 550–681 particles/kg, the highest among the fifteen brands of table salts they used for the study. By comparison, lake salts contained 43–364 particles/kg, while rock/well salts contained 7–204 particles/kg, making their hypothesis correct.
Why should we be alarmed when we are sprinkling microplastics all over our food and what are they? They’re “micro-sized particles of the common water bottle plastic polyethylene terephthalate, as well as polyethylene, cellophane, and a wide variety of other plastics,” to quote Scientific American.
The problem with ingesting these microplastics is that they contain heavy metals and other not-very-good-for-you elements that generally don’t belong in your body. They come from plastic pollution floating around in the ocean and water bottles aren’t the only villains—plastic microbeads found in exfoliates are also no good.
Now you might be thinking that because it’s a Chinese study, it’s only happening in China. However, things aren’t always that simple. “Plastics have become such a ubiquitous contaminant, I doubt it matters whether you look for plastic in sea salt on Chinese or American supermarket shelves. I’d like to see some ‘me-too’ studies,” Sherri Mason, who studies plastic pollution at SUNY Fredonia, reported to Scientific American.
Be on the look out, folks, and keep safe. Make it a habit to check if your salt is safe or not. Check if it has any kind of plastic particle in it. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.