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Scientists concerned about microplastic water pollution

There is no question that many people across the country take clean water for granted. Using it to bathe, wash clothes and swim may cause people to forget that they also use it to drink and cook their food. Additionally, countless species of wildlife depend on clean water to exist. Water pollution is a serious issue in Georgia, and those whose job is to protect the waterways are constantly studying the contaminants that affect its safety.

One ongoing study is measuring the amount of microplastics in the coastal waters of Georgia. These microplastics come from a variety of sources, such as small pieces of plastic bags, Styrofoam cups and tiny bits of fabric that wash off clothes in the laundry. Microplastics also come from the now-banned microbeads in some toothpastes and facial scrubs. Examining waters from 40 sites along the coast, both isolated and populated areas, the scientists made some startling finds.

Not only do microplastics occur in nearly every sample, but small quantities were also found in the digestive systems of over half the animals tested. While the effect microplastics have on the ecosystem or the health of marine life is unclear, scientists fear damage is almost certain. Plastic materials tend to absorb toxins from pollution and pesticides, creating a potential for poisoning when animals ingest them.

The universal presence of microplastics in Georgia waters is only one factor that puts the environment at risk. Fortunately, there are attorneys who are dedicated to the protection and preservation of the land and water in this beautiful state. For those who are facing issues involving the laws concerning water pollution, the advice and guidance of such an attorney can be a tremendous asset.

Source: savannahnow.com, "Study examining plastic pollution in coastal Georgia waters", Mary Landers, Oct. 23, 2017

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