In an article published on October 17, 2018, the non-profit organization Greenpeace International informed about a new study that tested different salt brands for their microplastics content. The study was published on October 4, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology and conducted by Ji-Su Kim and colleagues from Incheon National University, Republic of Korea, and Greenpeace East Asia.
According to the study, “[o]ver 90% of sampled salt brands globally were found to contain microplastics, with the highest number coming from salt sourced in Asia,” Greenpeace International reported. The researchers analyzed 39 salt brands globally of which only three brands “did not contain any microplastic particles in the replicated samples.” Microplastic contamination was found highest in sea salts (0–1,674 n/kg), followed by lake salts (28–462 n/kg) and rock salts (0–148 n/kg). The levels of microplastics in unrefined sea salts correlated with plastic emissions from rivers and with plastic pollution levels in surrounding seawater as reported in the scientific literature.
Considering these levels of microplastics in food-grade salts, “the average adult could . . . be consuming many hundreds of microplastics each year,” Greenpeace International explained. Previous studies have also detected microplastics in sea salt and table salt, as well as in drinking water, beer, fish and shellfish.
Greenpeace International (October 17, 2018). “Over 90% of sampled salt brands globally found to contain microplastics.”
Laura Parker (October 17, 2018). “Microplastics found in 90 percent of table salt.” National Geographic
Eric Mack (October 17, 2018). “Almost all the salt you use comes with an invisible serving of plastic.” Forbes
Dalvin Brown (October 17, 2018). “Yuck: There’s a 90 percent chance your tasty sea salt contains plastic, study says.” USA Today
Natasha Brooks (October 17, 2018). “Yikes! Over 90% of salt in the world contains microplastics.” One Green Planet
Julia Conley (October 18, 2018). “90% of table salt is contaminanted with microplastics.” EcoWatch
Kim, J.-S., et al. (2018). “Global pattern of microplastics (MPs) in commercial food-grade salts: Sea salt as an indicator of seawater MP pollution.” Environmental Science & Technology (published online October 4, 2018).