According to a recent study by a team of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, the presence of microplastics has been detected in some table salt brands in the country.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than 5 millimetre in diameter formed by the product’s gradual degradation in the environment, especially the sea.
A huge amount of plastic goes into the ocean. Plastic then gradually degrades in the environment, especially in the ocean, and ends up in micro proportions on our plates!
The study, titled “Contamination of Indian Sea Salts with Microplastics and a Potential Prevention Strategy” revealed that currently, Indians are consuming about 117 micrograms (0.117 milligrams) of microplastic throughout the year, if the average person has a daily salt intake of 5 grams.
Co-authored by Professor Amritanshu Shriwastav and ChandanKrishna Seth of the CESE, it was published on August 25 in the Environmental Science and Pollution Research, an international peer-reviewed journal.
Two members from IIT-B’s Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering 63 per cent of the microplastic particles were in the form of fragments and 37 per cent were fibres.
The study found that 63.76 micrograms (or 0.063 milligrams) of microplastic was found per kilogram of salt tested.
Professor Shriwastav claimed that around 85 per cent of microplastic, by weight, can be eliminated by employing the simple sand filtration technique.