Articles Posted in Environment

IMG_0197-300x200Large agricultural nations, including the EU, China, and Brazil, are becoming more and more inclined to ban pesticides that pose a threat to humans and the environment, while the US maintains approval for many of the same products.

A new report published on BMC identified 500 pesticides and analyzed their approval status across the largest agricultural nations. The study found that several of the pesticides approved for use in the United States are currently banned or in the process of being banned by the EU, China, and Brazil.

The report notes that in 2016 alone, the United States used 322 million pounds of pesticides that have been banned in the EU, 26 million pounds of pesticides banned in Brazil, and 40 million pounds of pesticides banned in China. Across all agricultural nations, the EU takes the lead in the number of pesticides that have been banned, meanwhile the United States offers the worst performance in terms of pesticide regulation.

IMG_0186-300x225According to a new report published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal, Americans ingest between 74,000 to 121,000 microplastic particles each year. However, researchers estimated that these numbers are likely much higher as some forms of microplastics are harder to track. But how does plastic end up in the air we breathe?

Microplastics can make their way into the air in a variety of ways. These small particles typically start out as larger plastic pieces, however eventually break down and become invisible to the human eye. From there they can float through the air and are easily inhaled. Microplastics can also be consumed by landing on food or being ingested by the animals that we eat.

According to the study, substantial data was collected from seafood, beer, water, air, and added sugars, where microplastics were commonly found. However, beef, poultry, vegetables, and grains were found to be free of plastic particles. The highest concentration of microplastics was found in bottled water, air, and seafood. However, researchers of the study note that only a small number of foods were tested, meaning the concentrations of plastic in other types of food that we consume is still unknown.