IPEN releases Ocean Pollutants Guide: Threat of toxic chemicals in plastic to human health and marine life

The comprehensive report, Ocean Pollutants Guide: Toxic Threats to Human and Marine Life, recently released by IPEN and the National Toxics Network (NTN), provides an up to date synthesis of data on toxic chemical ocean pollution, including hazardous pesticides, pharmaceuticals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like PCBs, plastics, microplastics, and heavy metals and exposes their sweeping impacts on marine and human life.

Read the report.

The report details how an array of highly persistent chemical pollutants are adversely affecting the reproduction and behavior of marine animals, impacting their immune systems, affecting their ability to respond to disease and reducing their survival. It sheds light on how microplastics in animal digestive system adversely affect health as microplastic exposure can induce oxidative stress (the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body), impacting energy and lipid metabolism, and create neurotoxic effects. From the algae and sea grasses that serve as the “world’s lungs,” to the fish that provide protein sustenance to two-thirds of the world’s population, including most of the world’s poor, the report describes increased marine contamination, increased human exposures, and risk for a host of illnesses, and ecosystem collapse.

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