The Plastics at SEA: North Atlantic Expedition is currently studying an area in the Atlantic Ocean similar to the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch". [via] [more inside]
Overambitious eating: Tetrapod Zoology brings us a series of articles on overambitious gluttony by animals. seagull vs phone, small army, doll parts, a perentie trying for a spiky echidna, heron vs. lamprey, roadrunner vs. horned lizard, snake vs. centipede, and real lizard vs. plasic lizard. [more inside]
The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. (warning: photos of dead birds)
Bisphenol A: this extremely common chemical leaches out of food packaging and plastics, and was long considered safe. But a number of recent studies link it to developmental problems and cancer in lab animals in doses far lower than the current regulatory limit. Canada and the United States both review the scientific data available in the coming months, but critics already worry the process will be corrupted by industry. Industry, of course, insists that BPA is safe.
Told you plastic is nasty.... Most of plastic that somehow reached the ocean floats in the North Pacific Gyre[look at Currents], an exotic name for an area of the Pacific ocean with a surface larger then U.S.A, dreaded by sailors for its lack of winds and called by some World largest Landfill. The people at Algalita Marine Research Foundation have made this nice video[Quicktime] showing how tons and tons of tiny plastic particles have been accumulating in the area for the last 50 years, slowly entering the food chain. Why does that bother us who live thousand of miles away ? Because we're on the top of the food chain and because that plastic is a sponge of hazardous chemicals.[Via tpl1212's link in another unrelated story]
Microscopic fragments of plastic are a "major pollutant", floating in the ocean, settling on seabeds, and washing up onshore - with unknown consequences for marine ecosystems, according to a new study. "We've found this microscopic plastic material at all of the sites we've examined," [lead researcher] Dr Richard C Thompson [of University of Plymouth, UK] said. "Interestingly, the abundance is reasonably consistent. So, it suggests to us that the problem is really quite ubiquitous."