Plastics have infiltrated remote pristine habitats

Feb 19, 2019, 6:36 AM EST
(Source: northern fulmars/flickr)
(Source: northern fulmars/flickr)

Phthalates, a family of chemical additives used in the manufacturing of plastics, have been found in birds’ eggs on Prince Leopold Island in the Canadian Arctic, signaling that the consequences of plastic pollution are already taking a toll on remote, pristine environments.

Scientists believe the phthalates leached from the plastic traces ingested by northern fulmars and passed into their bloodstream through an oily fluid present in the birds’ stomach, notes The Guardian.

Jennifer Provencher at the Canadian Wildlife Service called the discovery of contaminants in the eggs “tragic,” especially because these birds are exposed to far less plastics compared to many others that feed and breed in areas of much higher plastic concentrations.

Dr. Alex Bond, a conservation biologist from the Natural History Museum, said the presence of plastic chemicals in eggs shows the invisible threats to wildlife, which may not be causing immediate deaths but add to the pressures on the world’s seabirds, reports The Independent.