Sometimes this time of yr, information organizations unveil their listing of the yr’s prime tales. At 69 News, we requested our reporters to do one thing a bit completely different. We requested them to select a narrative that struck a nerve with them as they coated it, and let you know a bit about why the story mattered a lot to them. 69 News Reporter Jaccii Farris has extra on how an rising well being concern impressed her to take motion.
In all of the years I’ve been reporting, there have solely been a couple of tales that made me involved for my security. One was masking the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. One other was a collection on microplastics earlier this yr.
It could look like a stark distinction, however the actuality is I could have been safer masking an earthquake than from the potential well being impacts of microplastics, or fragments of plastic that vary from the practically invisible to the scale of a sesame seed.
Microplastics are all over the place in our surroundings. What are you able to do if you wish to decrease your consumption?
That is as a result of plastic is throughout us. We microwave our meals in it, we drink from it. It is in our garments and private hygiene merchandise.
It breaks down into tiny particles that float round our houses, or fibers that wash down the drain and into waterways.
However earlier than this story, I did not know any of this.
My “awakening,” because it had been, began after assembly with Faran Savitz, a zero waste advocate with Penn Setting.
We acquired video of him taking water samples from the Little Lehigh, as half of a bigger examine of Pennsylvania waterways.
“After 53 waterways, a whole lot of samples taken, we discovered microplastics all over the place we regarded,” Savitz stated.
We took issues a step additional, and gave Savitz water samples from from three Lehigh Valley houses, considered one of which got here from my kitchen faucet. All three samples got here again with micro plastic fibers, movies, or fragments. It is unclear in the event that they got here from the water, plumbing or the gathering course of, however it was eye opening.
Much more startling was studying that scientists imagine the typical individual ingests a few bank card’s price of plastic every week. I interviewed two of the world’s main researchers on the potential well being impacts of ingesting these microplastics.
“It is an enormous public well being disaster that we face and we shall be dealing with,” stated Dr. Karunthachalem, a microplastics researcher on the New York College Faculty of Drugs.
Researchers say we might face a well being disaster, as they proceed to analysis microplastics within the atmosphere
Each confirmed that microplastics have been present in human blood, lungs, brains, even in placenta. Chemical substances in some plastics have been linked to most cancers, hormone disruption, weight problems, fertility points and diabetes.
All this info spurred me to purge my kitchen of plastic. You need to have seen the look on my husband’s face because the pile of plastic acquired increased and better.
I changed all of that plastic with glass or silicone objects and downloaded a helpful app known as My Little Plastic Footprint to get a guidelines of different methods to cut back my plastic consumption.
All this will likely sound excessive to some, however realizing what I do know now, avoiding microplastics is simply one of many methods I’m attempting to maintain my household, and the planet, wholesome.