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Salt in Your Eye

Posted on April 12, 2018 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Ubiquitous Damage

Professor Sherri Mason, at the State University of New York at Fredonia and researchers at the University of Minnesota found that Americans are ingesting upwards of 660 particles of plastic each year. This is due to plastic pollution breaking down into tiny white plastic bits and eventually mixing in with salt production. Experts believe the 660 particle number is probably much higher given American’s excessive salt use.

In 1907, when plastic was first invented it seemed like the answer to modern production. It was cheap to produce, light and safe. However, following many human mistakes like ocean dumping, deforestation, and fracking, the result of plastic pollution could be causing the most damage of all. Scientists and activists have long warned of plastic pollution literally changing the ecology of our planet but most have rarely talked of the microscopic effects of plastic fibers.

As plastics break down in our landfills and particularly our oceans, they can become as fine as sand. With such a reduction in size it is easy to understand how the remnants of a plastic bottle will remain on our planet for hundreds, if not thousands of years. These tiny synthetic grains are called microplastics or MP’s and they seem to have permeated just about every part and every living thing of this planet.

Compromised Crystals

Table salt and sea salt are safe, natural food additives which may not be so safe or natural after all. A study cited by Forbes is reported as having “sampled store bought salt from the United States, UK, France, and Spain and found that in most instances the ordinary table salt contained small fragments of plastic.”

With continuing health and safety concerns, many choose sea salt as a more natural option than processed salt. Processed salt may have added iodine and possible earth contaminants but sea salt could be worse. The process of extracting sea salt requires evaporating away the seawater and collecting the remaining salt. It turns out that microplastics are undetectable to the human eye and are therefore scooped up alongside the sea salt eventually ending up in your body.

Treehugger describes the results of more disturbing research,

“According to a 2014 study, there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the sea, 92 percent of which are microplastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in size.”

The article continues with 2015 research by aquatic toxicologist Ali Karami and his team from the Universiti Putra Malaysia which analyzed sea salt extracted from eight different countries: Australia, France, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, and South Africa.

“In their lab they removed suspected microplastic particles larger than 0.149 mm (0.0059 inches) from 17 different salt brands. Microplastics were found in all but the French salt; of the 72 extracted particles they found, 41.6 percent were plastic polymers, 23.6 percent were pigments (from plastic), 5.50 percent were amorphous carbon, and 29.1 percent remained unidentified.”

Protect Yourself

Obviously using too much salt on your food is not advised, however minimal amounts can help food flavor as well as replenish needed systemic salts. Conventional salt (especially from France) probably contains less microplastics than sea salt which measures very high. The best salts to switch to as recommended by Eco-Watch include:

  • Pink Himalayan salt - High in iron (which gives it its pink hue) this salt contains all 84 essential trace elements required by your body. Pink salt can assist in many bodily functions, such as reducing muscle cramps, promoting blood sugar health and promoting healthy pH in your cells. Many experts recommend pink salt as one of the healthiest salts you can consume.
  • Grey Salt - Colored by the clay from where it's harvested, grey salt is often called Celtic Sea Salt. It is hand-raked in Brittany, France, where the natural clay and sand create moist, mineral-rich crystals. This salt generally retains its moistness. Grey salt can help to restore electrolyte balance, has alkalizing properties and can prevent muscle cramps.

Other salts which may be more expensive and difficult to find include black salt, Fleur de sel, red  salt, and Persian blue.

 

The health effects of microplastics in your body are, to date, unknown due to the fact that there is no control group as every living thing now tests positive for plastic. Avoid consuming plastic and stick to a better brand of salt while limiting or eliminating your use of plastic overall. As your land, water and air quality continue to remain under siege, it is up to you to stay out of harm’s way while doing your part to stop the madness.

 

 

 

 

 


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Eating Well, Health and Safety and was tagged with HEALTH SENSITIVE, microplastics, NON-TOXIC, salt, sea salt, SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS

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