Kennedy Bucci, Rocklin, San Francisco Bay discussed on All Things Considered
The mass production of plastic in the mid twentieth. Century eight billion tonnes have been manufactured and, when it's thrown away it, doesn't just disappear much of it crumbles into, small pieces it ends up in soil in fertilizer in, rivers, lakes and oceans, at one of rocklin slabs Kennedy Bucci prepares to make her own, micro plastic from the morning's collection so we have here is a coffee grinder Some ugly looking black plastic This is the PawSox To measure their effects that includes the. Tiniest fish fish larvae she's got a bunch in a beaker of water also contains ground up plastic. Particles under a microscope the larvae. Has got is translucent you can. See right into it Like. A big teardrop on the fish. Stuck in it you can see Have a line of black shaped black things those of the micro pasta I can see that definitely see that two. Or three places Yeah In another. Lab the team keeps hundreds of grownup fish and bubbling tanks stacked six feet high fat. Head minnows Bucci says they make good test. Subjects they just kind of end up, eating whatever is floating around in front of. Them said you stick your finger in there at? All They try, luckily they don't have teeth but they don't need. Teeth eat, micro-plastics it's like a soup in rivers and lakes and oceans chemical, soup plastic can shed the. Chemicals it's made from it also attracts other chemicals in. The water that latch onto it. Toxic industrial compounds like PCB's for example tracking. All those chemicals is researcher Clara Tyson's, job so right right now we're starting with the context of plastic polyethylene polypropylene polystyrene but there's Time this happens all, the time Something it seems really, great and then you don't think and. We've become, so, dependent on it Markman says testing what plastic does, to the tissues of fish, matters not just, to the fish but to us. We eat fish that eat, plastic so it's a question of are there things that transfer to the tissue as the, plastic itself transfer to the tissue the chemicals associated with. The plastic, transferred to the tissue in, fact, plastic does get into. Fish tissue, plastic fibers from clothing for example there's a lot in police found fibers. In fish from San Francisco Bay she bought a washing machine for, her lab and washed lease clothing and lots of fibers came out and. It's not just in the water. It's even floating in the air if you, put a piece of double sided sticky tape on, the lab bench for an hour you come back and it's. Got four, plastic fibers on it so far they do know that micro plastic particles can sicken. Or even kill larvae and fish the things we don't know what are all the sources where it's coming from so that we can think. About where to turn it, off and once it gets In the ocean where does it go which is super. Important because then we can understand how it impacts life in humans Rochman says she's ready to spend the rest of her career finding out. Christopher Joyce NPR news.