Archive for April 5, 2017

Yoga Pant Pollution

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2017 by andelino

Attention Womyn: “Your Yoga Pants Cause Pollution.”

Yoga Pants are “emerging” as a source of plastic that’s increasingly “ending” up in the oceans and potentially “contaminating” seafood, according to Gulf Coast “researchers” launching a two-year study of “microscopic plastics” in the waters from south Texas to the Florida Keys.

The project , led by the “Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium,” relies partly on “volunteers” participating in coastal “cleanup” events.

It also will “collect” a year’s worth of data around the state of Florida that predominantly found “microfibers shreds” of plastic even smaller than “microbeads” flowing down “bathroom” sinks and “shower” drains.

Yoga pants, Patagonia’s cozy jackets, “sweat-wicking” athletic wear and other garments made from “synthetic” materials shed microscopic plastic fibers, called “microfibers,” when they’re laundered.

Some offenders pollute worse than others.

Wastewater systems “flush” the microfibers into “natural” waterways, eventually “reaching” the sea.

“Anything that’s nylon or polyester, like the fleece-type jackets,” University of Florida researcher Maia McGuire said.

When McGuire set out to study the “kinds of plastic” found in Florida waters, she expected to mostly find “microbeads,” the brightly colored plastic spheres the U.S. government “banned” from rinse-off “cosmetic” products in 2015 because of the potential “threat” to fish and other wildlife.

Instead, McGuire predominantly found “microfibers,” even smaller than “microbeads” and coming from places most people don’t consider “dangerous” to marine life: “their wardrobe closets.”

Studies of the “Great Lakes” and “New York Harbor” and its surrounding “waterways” found high “concentrations” of plastics pollution, including “microbeads.”

McGuire’s data from Florida waters, “compiled” from 1-liter samples run through filters fine enough to catch “microfibers” missed by the trawls used in the larger studies, adds to the “growing” amount of research focused on plastic pieces that “degrade but never really disappear.”

Other recent studies have shown that “microfibers” can end up in the stomachs of “marine” animals, including “seafood,” like oysters.

Experts increasingly “suggest” that manufacturers of washing machines, “not just body washes or other scrubbing detergents,” may need to be “targeted” next in efforts to reduce “plastic waste” in the oceans.

Maia McGuire said that they are working at warp speed to produce invisible yoga pants.

The “Gulf Coast” study will use McGuire’s methodology to “determine” the prevalence of microfibers and other “microscopic plastics” in the region’s waters.

“There hasn’t been a lot of baseline study covering micro plastics, and the studies that have been done haven’t been as wide-reaching,” said Caitlin Wessel, regional coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program.

“We’re hoping to use the data as a baseline but also find sources of micro plastics and find out what types of micro plastics are the biggest issue in the Gulf.”

The effects of “microfibers” in the food chain remain under investigation, but the “emerging” data has prompted clothing company “Patagonia,” which makes fleece jackets and other apparel from “synthetic” materials, to support research into the “prevalence” of microfiber pollution and promote information for consumers about ways to “minimize” microfiber shedding in laundry.

Consumer-focused efforts such as Patagonia’s outreach, liquor giant Bacardi’s decision to stop adding “plastic straws and stirrers” to cocktails at company events, Miami Beach’s ban on “Styrofoam” containers or the federal “microbeads” ban can help slow the rate of “microfibers and other plastics” adding up in the oceans, but the “pollution” also needs to be addressed at its source and at “wastewater treatment plants,” Wessel said.

“It would be really great if the washing machine companies would get on board and come up with a filter to trap these microfibers,” Wessel said. “I think there’s a big push right now — nobody really disagrees that marine debris is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

McGuire’s Florida “Microplastic Awareness Project” from September 2015 to August 2016 “analyzed” samples collected by volunteers from 256 sites around the state’s peninsula and the Florida Keys. Eighty-nine percent “contained” at least one piece of plastic.

“Microfibers” comprised the vast majority of plastic found — 82 percent. Only 7 percent were “micro beads”  from personal products targeted by the “federal” ban, which doesn’t limit the use of the same “plastic spheres” in other products.

The samples sent to McGuire were similar to one collected in early February by Sarah Egner, director of research and curriculum development at “MarineLab” in Key Largo.

She “waded” knee-deep in “yoga” pants off a boat ramp into Largo Sound, and on a sunny day the water seemed “clear” in her white plastic bottle. Under a “microscope” in her laboratory, however, two dark “threads” seemed to swim among red and green plankton — “two microfibers.”

Egner has committed to reading “product labels” to avoid those containing “plastic” ingredients. That’s easy compared with the “daunting” task of reducing the amount of “microfibers” potentially coming from the “boating attire” and “moisture-wicking” clothes that make it easier to work outside in Florida.

“I look in my closet, and I’m like, ‘Man, I’ve got a lot of synthetic material in here,'” Egner said. “Look on your tags: If you have something that’s 100 percent cotton, you’re good right there. But generally, it’s a mix of things, which is not so good.”

Translucent yoga pants made of “fishnet” fibers are entitled to a 50% credit for helping reduce sea pollution.

When yoga pants are outlawed, only outlaws will wear yoga pants.”

%d bloggers like this: