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Plastic Debris Harboring Harmful Bacteria
Plastic pollution in the ocean is harboring colonies of bacteria that could be harmful, not only to marine animals, but also to humans.

Scientists have discovered a wide diversity of microbes colonizing and thriving on plastic that is polluting the ocean in the so-called plastisphere.

The organisms in this plastisphere were different from those in the surrounding nutrient-poor water, indicating that the plastic acts as an artificial microbial reef, one that could harbor disease-causing pathogens and other harmful algal species.

A lot of time certain toxins are oily in nature and they will absorb on to the plastic, but when the microbes interact with it they could be releasing those toxins off of the plastics. Some of those additives are known to have hormonal effects in humans.

 
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Investigation Underscores Need for Water Quality Funding - Research shows the hazardous impacts of fertilizer runoff are not isolated to the Gulf of Mexico. Over-concentrated nutrients also endanger our recreation areas, as with the 1,400 closures or swim warnings issued this summer at public beaches in the 12 states under review. Most troubling of all, those nutrients end up in our drinking water, potentially threatening our health and driving up municipal governments’ water treatment costs, which are covered by our tax dollars.


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