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TWN Info Service on Health Issues (Apr19/02)
4 April 2019
Third World Network


Dear friends and colleagues,

Pathogens hitchhiking on plastics could carry diseases worldwide

Research  by the University of Stirling, UK has found dangerous sewage pathogens ‘hitchhiking’ on plastic litter washed up on Scottish beaches, which could have far-reaching implications for human health worldwide.

According to The Guardian (UK), ‘The findings raise the potential for cholera in India to be transported and washed up on a shore in the USA’.

‘The scientists found 45% of nurdles  (tiny plastic beads), the size and shape of a lentil, collected from five EU-designated beaches in East Lothian were polluted with E. coli. Up to 90% of them were contaminated with Vibrio, which causes gastroenteritis.’

The Guardian added that ‘the research, published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, also raises the prospect of projected increases in seawater temperature increasing the geographical range of “new and emerging diseases”.’

The Guardian story by Karen McVeigh dated 11 March 2019 is available here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/11/pathogens-hitchhiking-on-plastics-could-carry-cholera-from-india-to-us

With best wishes,

Third World Network

 


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