All UK mussels contain plastic and other contaminants, study finds
British seafood fans likely to be consuming microplastics, but health effects remain unclear, researchers say
All mussels sampled from UK coastlines and supermarkets were found to contain tiny shards of plastic and other debris in a new study.
The scientists behind the report said microplastic consumption by people eating seafood in Britain was likely “common and widespread”.
Though they were less certain about the resulting impact on human health, the research team emphasised the importance of further studies to determine any potential harm as a result of people eating plastic.
In samples of wild mussels from eight coastal locations around the UK and eight unnamed supermarkets, 100 per cent were found to contain microplastics or other debris such as cotton and rayon.
Every 100 grams of mussels eaten contains an estimated 70 pieces of debris, according to the researchers, whose study is published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
Mussels feed by filtering seawater through their bodies, meaning they ingest small particles of plastic and other materials as well as their food.
There was more debris in the wild mussels, which were sampled from Edinburgh, Filey, Hastings, Brighton, Plymouth, Cardiff and Wallasey, than in the farmed mussels bought in shops.
But mussels from the supermarkets, which came from various places around the world, had more particles in them if they had been cooked or frozen than if they were freshly caught, the study found.
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