Event Title

Are microplastics a risk to food security?

Presentation Abstract

Microplastic pollution (particles < 5mm) is a growing concern in marine ecosystems, particularly because of its potential impacts on organismal health. Microplastic ingestion has been observed for a wide range of marine organisms including worms, bivalves and fish, including commercially valuable species and those consumed by humans. It is unclear if microplastics pose a threat to food safety and, at a larger scale, food security. Food security encompasses four dimensions including 1) Availability – food must be available based on food production, stock levels and trade, 2) Access – food must be physically (e.g. food supply) and economically accessible (e.g. affordability), 3) Utilization – the way the body uses nutrients combined with feeding practices, food preparation, diet diversity and household distribution of food will determine nutritional status of individuals and 4) Stability – the above three dimensions must be stable over time to ensure food security. Marine debris has the potential to affect the availability, use and stability dimensions of food security. This presentation will discuss how microplastics relate to each of these dimensions and, the level of risk this contaminant poses given the current status of knowledge.

Session Title

Plastic in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Fate and Effects of Pollutants

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Are microplastics a risk to food security?

2016SSEC

Microplastic pollution (particles < 5mm) is a growing concern in marine ecosystems, particularly because of its potential impacts on organismal health. Microplastic ingestion has been observed for a wide range of marine organisms including worms, bivalves and fish, including commercially valuable species and those consumed by humans. It is unclear if microplastics pose a threat to food safety and, at a larger scale, food security. Food security encompasses four dimensions including 1) Availability – food must be available based on food production, stock levels and trade, 2) Access – food must be physically (e.g. food supply) and economically accessible (e.g. affordability), 3) Utilization – the way the body uses nutrients combined with feeding practices, food preparation, diet diversity and household distribution of food will determine nutritional status of individuals and 4) Stability – the above three dimensions must be stable over time to ensure food security. Marine debris has the potential to affect the availability, use and stability dimensions of food security. This presentation will discuss how microplastics relate to each of these dimensions and, the level of risk this contaminant poses given the current status of knowledge.