The most widely consumed species of mussels around the world are believed to contain microplastics, according to researchers at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.
Among the samples taken, mussels from the North Atlantic and South Pacific were the most contaminated.
A team of scientists from the university investigated the presence of microplastics in the four best-selling species of mussels from supermarkets in 12 countries around the world.
These are not only farmed mussels, but also wild mussels from the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the South Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
Published in the journal Environmental Pollution, their work reveals that all the samples analysed contained microplastic particles, with no less than nine different types of plastic found.
Polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate – plastics used in everyday life around the world – were the most common types of microplastics found in the samples studied.
While the researchers say that they found very different levels of microplastics in the different species of mussels – 1g of mussel meat could contain between 0.13 and 2.45 microplastic particles – their study suggests that eating mussels also means absorbing these microplastics in a systematic way, especially if taken regularly.
These results also make it possible for “indirect conclusions to be drawn about pollution in (the) respective areas of origin” of the mussels analysed, the scientists conclude. – AFP Relaxnews