Plastic Pollution In The Ocean And Human Health

plastic pollution in the ocean

Overfishing and industrial waste materials are some of the major contributors to this issue. Decades ago, people could just make do with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) bottles; today, there are tons of plastic additives and ingredients used in these products. They can be thrown into the garbage without consequence. The chemicals Leach out into the water, polluting it and changing the chemistry of the water. As a result, over time, the levels of certain toxic chemicals in the ocean are becoming dangerous.

Because of all of this, humans are becoming increasingly sick with respiratory and cardiovascular problems due to exposure to these toxins. Ocean plastics can contain low level chemicals that mimic designer drugs. When ingested, they create a chemical reaction in the human body. In doing so, they interfere with the production of endorphins, which are the “happy hormones”, and cause depression, irritability, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. These side effects have led to an increase in the use of antipsychotic medications for people who suffer from depression and mental disorders.

Stuck In The Gills And Nasal Passages

As if that’s not enough, plastic particles can get stuck in the gills and nasal passages or grow into the eyes and lungs. Over time, this causes a variety of health problems, which tend to manifest as a cough, runny nose, redness of the eyes, and/or pain in the area. It’s no wonder that people are particularly concerned about this issue.

The ramifications of long-term exposure to ocean toxins are serious. It’s also worth noting that humans are likely dealing with a host of parasites and bacteria-including dangerous types that are resistant to most antibiotics-due to the vast amount of plastic that we discard on a daily basis.

Fish And Marine Life-Including Aquatic Plants-Are Also At Risk

A group of people sitting at a beach umbrella in the sand

As mentioned earlier, it’s not just humans that are at risk. Fish and marine life-including aquatic plants-are also at risk. The chemicals that are released when plastics are manufactured and disposed of are particularly troubling because they remain in the environment for extended periods of time. In fact, they persist in the atmosphere and then resurface at a later date. Fish and aquatic plants exposed to this sort of chronic exposure are likely to experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms.

As scary as all of this may sound, it’s not the first time that scientists have noticed the dangers of chemical pollutants in the environment. In addition to rolf halden, another major source of plastic pollution in the ocean is formaldehyde. This substance is released during the manufacturing process, and it has been linked to a variety of human health conditions, including allergic reactions, asthma, and cancer. In addition to the short-term health effects that these chemicals may cause, they can also lead to fatal conditions in humans, such as stroke and heart disease.

Try To Avoid Throwing Your Beach Balls Or Tubes Into The Ocean

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to minimize your exposure to plastics. First, whenever you are at the beach, try to avoid throwing your beach balls or tubes into the ocean. When you do retrieve these objects, make sure you wash them immediately with water and soap. You may also want to use a pool cover to keep your body near the edge, to minimize your exposure to plastics.

In addition to the ocean, plastic pollution can also affect you right here on land. Take note of the trees in your area. If you live in an area that has a lot of trees, and a lot of plastic bottles, you are contributing to the problem. We can help to eliminate this plastic pollution in our own backyard by recycling the bottles that we used. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of creating your own recycling program, talk to local businesses about donating their used plastic to you.


Finally, the ocean and human health are not the only bodies that are affected by the presence of plastic. We have been experiencing a huge number of health issues lately due to the pollution of toxic chemicals in our environment. The Environmental Working Group says that nearly two hundred chemicals have been identified as having the potential to cause cancer in humans. This includes many common household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, and personal care products, such as shampoos, lotions, bath gels, and more.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter