Save the Oceans, Save Ourselves

Petroleum, mercury, microplastics and other pollutants are taking a massive toll on human health, according to a new report in the Annals of Global Health.

Coal factories, for example, send mercury into the atmosphere that ends up in the ocean and accumulates in fish. Their consumption by pregnant women leads to thousands of babies born with brain injuries each year in the US alone.

“Think of [the pollutants] as little Trojan horses that carry with them carcinogens, flame retardants [and] chemicals that can interfere with endocrine signaling,” and elevate the risk of diseases, Boston College’s Philip Landrigan, the report co-leader, tells WBUR

The authors urge the elimination of coal combustion, single-use plastic, and other measures.

The Quote: “Ocean pollution is an ignored global health threat that worsens by the day,” writes Keith Martin, CUGH  executive director, in a companion commentary.

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