If adult humans consume between 39,000-52,000 microplastic particles per year (I am not speculating, see study) and if infants have more microplastic particles in their faeces than adults what about cats and dogs? How many microplastic particles are cats consuming or breathing in per year?
Microplastics are sometimes referred to as PET microplastics. PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate. Ironic that the acronym is PET when cats are pets.
Another study found that 58 cat and dog foods and 78 cat and dog faeces samples were collected from Albany, NY, USA for analysis of polyethylene terephthalate and polycarbonate (PC). They found PET in cat food and dog food but the concentrations of PET in their faeces were 1-2 times higher than in their food.
They concluded that the microplastics in pet food was a minor source of exposure. So, what is the major source of exposure? They don’t tell us in their summary. Microplastics are probably in the water that they drink and in the air that they breath just like us. They are everywhere; in the far corners of the world and in the deepest part of the oceans.
“Microfibres have been found in air, rivers, soil, drinking water, beer and table salt.”
There is so much plastic waste on the planet, and it has been there so long, that it has infiltrated every nook and cranny of the world and we, our animals and the wild animals on land, in the air and in the sea are ingesting it. Humans and domestic cats are eating their own clothes and bedding! Eleven billion tons of plastic will be in the environment by 2025. There are 1,000 particles of plastic per cubic metre of sea water in Atlantic Ocean.
We don’t know the effect it has on our health. We will do and we will be flabbergasted when we find out. They are poisonous and alien to our bodies. They are foreign bodies floating around inside us in large numbers. Do we care? We should. But humans are blind. If we can’t see it and feel it, it doesn’t exist. In the meantime, know that our cat companions are shitting microplastics.
There are calls nowadays to wash clothes less often and at lower temperatures to minimise the shedding of microfibers from clothes. They are washed too much. Polyamide, nylon and acrylic clothes shed hundreds of thousands, up to 17 million microscopic fibres when washed. They are washed into the water courses and the oceans where they enter the food chain. 64% of clothes are made of plastic.
Study first referred to: a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology a mentioned by National Geographic.
Second study referred to on cats and dogs: ‘Polyethylene Terephthalate and Polycarbonate Microplastics in Pet Food and Feces from the United States.’