Researchers at IIT-Bombay Find Microplastic in Table Salt Brands

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Indians were consuming about 0.117 mg of microplastic annually if the average person has a daily salt intake of 5g

A study by a team of researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay has found the presence of microplastic in several table salt brands in the country. Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT-B found 626 microplastic particles in the tested samples.

Microplastics are small pieces of plastic usually measuring less than 5 millimetres in diameter. These are formed by the product’s gradual degradation in the environment, especially the sea.

63.76mg of microplastic was found in per Kg of salt

The study stated that 63 per cent of the microplastic particles was in the form of fragments and 37 per cent were fibres. The study found that 63.76 micrograms (or 0.063 milligrams) of microplastic was found per kilogram of salt tested. It further revealed that if the average person has a daily salt intake of 5 grams then Indians were consuming about 0.117 mg of microplastic annually. It was also stated that 63 per cent of the microplastic particles was in the form of fragments and 37 per cent were fibres.

Moreover, India is among the three largest producers of salt for domestic consumption as well as industrial purposes. Hence, a study was needed and it has now backed the global discourse on the rising presence of microplastics in a food chain. The researchers also claimed that around 85 per cent of microplastic can be eliminated by employing the simple sand filtration technique.

As there are no checks on how and what is being dumped into the sea, the researchers took a step forward to test the salt brands. This is comparatively a recent development where scientists have started to find the presence of plastic in the brands. The official, however, added that there was no study available to link the increased consumption of microplastic to health-related issues.