What is Plasticosis?

A disease caused by pieces of plastic
that affects some sea birds!

“The Guardian”, “ABC News”, “The Huffington Post”… In recent days, the international press has widely reported the discovery of a new disease related to plastic: “plasticosis”.These are the first results of the MicroPOW research program, supported by Pure Ocean.

Imagine having small pieces of plastic stuck in your stomach. Besides being incredibly uncomfortable, what would be the consequences for your organs, tissues and cells?

Dr. Jennifer Lavers, and her colleagues at the Adrift Lab, have just published a study highlighting the impact of plastic particles ingested by Australian pied shearwaters: a seabird species highly exposed to plastic pollution.

How did they do it?

The team examined the inner lining of the birds’ stomachs using a tissue staining method: healthy tissue stains red while collagen (a marker produced during scarring fibrosis) stains blue.

The discovery?

It is the excessive and continuous healing process, due to the abrasion of the digestive tract by plastics, which causes the development of fibrosis, especially in the stomach. Hence the name given to this “new” disease: Plasticosis.

The impacts?

Over time, the inflammation heals and deforms the tissue. Birds have difficulty digesting their food, are weakened and become more vulnerable to infections and parasites, all of which greatly affect their ability to survive.

This is the first time that a study has looked at the biological mechanisms of plastic pollution on the health of wildlife. As all vertebrates have very similar physiological responses, the results of this scientific breakthrough can reasonably be extrapolated to humans.

To be discovered in the press: Francetv Info ; TF1info ; le Huffington Post ; Natural History Musem ; Futura ScienceThe Gardian ; ABC News ; Sky NewsNewatlasInfobae