If your summer diet includes eating all the oysters hours and mussels you can find, you might want to rethink that. According to new research published the Journal of Hazardous Materials, "high levels of fiberglass" have been found inside both types of seafood.

"Our findings show a disturbing level of glass-reinforced plastic contamination in marine life," the study's lead author and principal lecturer in marine biology at the University of Brighton, Corina Ciocan, told Newsweek.

The mussel and oyster samples were collected from the Chichester Harbor on the south coast of England by researchers from the Universities of Portsmouth and Brighton. The oysters reportedly contained 11,220 glass particles per kilogram, while the mussels had 2,740 particles per kilogram.

But why exactly is this happening? According to Ciocan, the sea life is actually ingesting the particles through filter feeding by mistake. She called it a "stark reminder of the hidden dangers in our environment."

They were reportedly more pronounced during the winter months, likely due to boat maintenance during that time of year. "Through repair work, the release of glass fibers in the environment is more likely," the study says.

Fiberglass is a plastic material that's even stronger thanks to little fibers of glass woven through it. It's found in many products, from human prosthetics to boats, the New York Post reports. Here's why that's a problem (besides the obvious fact you shouldn't be ingesting anything that isn't food): they can cause skin, eye, and upper respiratory tract irritations. The study also compares them to asbestos, which can cause lung disorders and increase the risk of certain cancers. However, there's still *a lot* we don't know about the issue.

"We're just starting to understand the extent of fiberglass contamination," co-author Fay Couceiro told Newsweek, and Ciocan added that they are addressing "this issue head-on" to protect the marine ecosystems. "I hope that more researchers will start looking for fiberglass contamination in the coastal environment so that the industry and regulators can take it very seriously and start investing in recycling strategies and natural materials to replace glass-reinforced plastic."

2024-07-10T17:39:11Z dg43tfdfdgfd