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WATCH OUT! Alarming Study Reveals Fiberglass in Oysters and Mussels

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A recent study has found a significant amount of fiberglass particles in popular seafood items–oysters and mussels. This is the first time that fiberglass or Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) particles have been detected in the ecological food chain.

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According to the New York Post on July 9, Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Brighton in the U.K. Corina Ciocan published a research analysis in the Journal of Hazardous Materials on July 5, stating that high levels of fiberglass were found in oysters and mussels for the first time.

The joint research team from the University of Brighton and the University of Portsmouth conducted their research on edible marine life samples collected from Chichester Harbor on the southern coast of England.

The results revealed 11,220 fiberglass particles per kilogram of oysters. In mussels, 2,740 particles were detected per kilogram. Shellfish like oysters and mussels mistakenly consumed large amounts of fiberglass, thinking it was food. This is the first time that such a large amount of pollutant has been found in filter-feeding species.

More pollutants were found in oysters and mussels during the winter. The researchers pointed out that more ships and equipment tend to be discarded into the sea during winter.

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Ciocan said, “This study shows how concerning the level of contamination by fiberglass-reinforced plastics in marine life is.”

Fiberglass is a material made by drawing out glass into thin fibers. GRP, which is made by mixing it with polyester resin, is lightweight yet sturdy. It is also used not only in everyday items like fishing rods and umbrellas, but also in aircraft, missiles, and vehicles.

According to the researchers, fiberglass particles can affect the animal’s digestive abilities, increase inflammation, and may also decrease reproductive function. Humans, who are at the top of the food chain, are not exempt from these effects.

Fiberglass can irritate human skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract. In severe cases, it can cause lung diseases and may also increase the risk of cancer.

Ciocan warned, “This research shows how concerning the level of contamination by fiberglass-reinforced plastics in marine life is,” adding, “Once the fibers enter the soft tissue, they cannot be expelled. They can cause inflammation and other complications that can lead to death.”

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