According to the University of Florida and NOAA, Microfibers are found in common synthetic materials, such as yoga pants and those very fuzzy fleeces, and now they are filling up the ocean.
When you throw clothes like this in the washing machine, the microfibers break off and go out with the wash water.
Each dot on the map indicates how many plastic samples were found. The red dots are the most samples, 20, and the black dot is the least amount of plastic samples.
What the exact health risks associated with this phenomena are unknown. But According to a University of Florida professor, Research has shown that microfibers are getting embedded into the tissues of marine life.
Studies have also shown that bacteria sticks to the outsides of these plastics. When marine life consume the plastic, they become sick.
There have been studies about other types of plastics in the ocean such as microbeads. In fact their ban went into effect this year. You used to be able to find them in facial scrubs and toothpaste.
According to UF, 8 trillion microbeads are estimated to enter waters in the US daily.
That’s enough to cover 300 tennis courts.
So what can we do? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Pick up pieces of plastic off of our beaches. Check labels on personal care products and clothes. Look for natural fabrics, including 100 percent cotton, bamboo, linen and silk. You can also put synthetic clothing into a filter bag before washing. That can help reduce the flow of microfibers.