It seemed very much dependent on currents, as beaches further south on the windward shore were still pristine.
Maybe there could be some way to help sift things out more quickly? Something the regular beach cleaning / beautification staff could / would do without it adding an entirely new and extenuating task to their work days. My immediate thought was some sort of netting but as you said lots of the microplastics are invisible to the naked eye unless you realllly get down there. That type of net, beyond how expensive it would be having it cover any sort of significant percentage of US / World Beaches, would be pretty much only a nightmare for the majority of sea creatures of all sorts.
The big nets seem good to keep sharks and other nefarious / dangerous sea going animals that could harm humans because the nets are large enough to allow everything BUT those big baddies through. This would be the exact opposite which means literally everything that lives or occasionally travels toward the ocean's coastal areas would be in danger.
What I really want to see is somebody compile, with video, image, audio, and in person interviews with people with first hand accounts / stakes in the ocean's health / stakes in the world's health all of the different types of things like microplastics in the water / on the earth, ice caps melting and the fallout from that, any other evidence about how fast global warming is happening, what types of damage has already happened due to that global warming and obvious water level rise? I think if the average American / Human Earthling saw a video with a large collection of different real life scenarios that are already playing out / have already played out and have a serious, dangerous, and lasting effect on the planet and/or these people's lives / livelihood.
For global warming/climate change- An Inconvenient Truth, which is now probably dated.
I saw a great documentary of the impacts of climate change already being seen in Ladakh firsthand: Jungwa: A Broken Balance. It's pretty depressing to see a village running out of water because of the greed of a society they could never comprehend. Instead they pray for hours, thinking their problems that stem from the environment, are evidence of their own sins. Heartbreaking to see the people that will be impacted the most with the least resources to adapt.
The beaches were nearly pristine, for the number of people there. I only saw the occasional lost sandal on the various beaches, and a few beer cans near bonfire dugouts. I was surprised at the lack of plastic and debris, given reports like yours.
Is there a state or federal agency that combs America's beaches?
This. People don't realize how costly can be to maintain a beach in a good state.
I remember getting early to the beach seeing one of this https://gfycat.com/gifs/detail/BronzeOldfashionedKarakul
Even more expensive is beach nourishment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beach_nourishment
Cleaning work is ungrateful because people only notice it when you do a bad job.
When we went scuba diving and swimming the consequences of their auto-dredging/sand spraying contraption were horrific, extensive and obvious to all. The organised diving trip to the local reef was to a mainly dead, slime covered reef.
Talking with the locals, who were the maintenance and wait staff, made it plain we'd chosen the "wrong" island for experiencing the Maldives.
It was that holiday and the stupidity we saw that significantly changed our environmental awareness and views.
Also, how do they clean the beaches where automobiles are not allowed? Part of Ocean Shores beach doesn't allow cars. And what about the miles of sand dunes, rocky beaches, jettys and other places cars can't go? How do so few people keep clean so much coastline? Are they training seagulls and deer to pick up litter? It doesn't scale...
An event like the Tōhoku tsunami creates massive amounts of garbage.
But I suspect the locals had read testimony from scientists studying the problem. People really give a shit about pollution in Hawai'i.
It also seems very unlikely that the quantity would be there without ocean currents bringing it in from the big offenders like China.
Hawai'i has a pretty small population of people who are widely very concientious about polluting the ocean, compared to most other people in the world.
This is a con to synthetic fibers that I hadn't been considering before. Recently I learned that cotton has a pretty high environmental footprint (land use, highest pesticide use of any crop, high water consumption) , and thus started moving some of my clothing purchases toward polyester-blends (trades the cons of cotton for petrochemical and energy use).
Does anyone have a good grasp on the total environmental impact of these options, considering the entire chain (mining/extraction/cultivation -> disposal/environmental release)?
[edit: added source]
You can get some really durable, long lasting, organic cotton and hemp blended clothing which is way more durable, breathable and comfortable than you might imagine.
Patagonia (brand) is an easy place to buy organic cotton Tshirts and pants.
Organic farming also often requires more resources (land, water, etc.). The ecological damage of that extra resource use (soil erosion, water diversion) could far surpass any pollutants non-organic farms spew. 
I don't know anything about cotton specifically, though.
 https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogs... (see myths 1 and 3)
According to this article which quotes a cotton industry group, organic cotton takes >2x more water to grow, which is in line with what I'd heard anecdotally.
Also, how about linen shirts? I hear linen is much easier to grow compared to cotton?
poly fleece: https://www-tc.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/wp-content/uploads/201...
nylon mesh: https://assets.fishersci.com/TFS-Assets/CCG/product-images/F...
For example: it's amazing how much discussion there is around using paper cups vs a ceramic cup. Or when plastic actually might be the best packaging material (keeping food fresh for longer and being lighter to transport).
Can anyone here point to non-biased, well researched articles on this topic? I would imagine academia is a good place, but I don't know where to start.
I really wish more studies would look into the Energy per Ton for creating our consumer products.
I really don't know the answer, but I bet everybody on the anti-plastic crusade doesn't know either. I would really like if somebody cared to do some unbiased studies on this (not the ones full of flaws reinforcing the author desired answer - whatever that it).
I’ll note that what you’re comparing petroleum based manufacturing to is the most pointlessly intensively harmful and wasteful form of agriculture – growing conventional cotton.
Problem is they're often not inert. The polymers may be, but the bisphenol plasticizers, UV stabilizers, dyes, brominated fire retardants, mold release agents, etc may not be, and they leach out over time.
Here in New Zealand, much of our agriculture has shifted from sheep to dairy cows. There's a growing fear (I don't know how justified it really is) that synthetic milk, or even meat, will become a reality and wreck the traditional dairy industry. So, in our situation, maybe more wool use would be a good thing.
Here's a good/entertaining video that compares synthetic to merino for ski layers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh8BFytupwA
His conclusion is that the synthetic was just as warm, but the merino wool did a better job of dissipating .. aromas... and stayed 'clean' longer.
It's unfortunate that a lot of the 'wool' out there is still blended with synthetics for cost or supposed-technical reasons.
The second article requires a subscription to WSJ but you can find the same information elsewhere on the web.
My philosophy for a long time now has been to take good care of existing clothing/textiles, purchase used as much as possible, and purchase fewer items overall - only what I absolutely need to live my life in a reasonable manner, without excess or mindless purchases.
A better answer in any case is to buy less stuff.
If you do edit I'll delete this comment.)
I am a UX/UI designer and I wonder what I could do to help rid the world of microplastics. I was thinking off the top of my head:
1. Write a letter to every company that uses exorbitant amount plastic in it's product or packaging (tons of them here in Japan) and try to make them aware of the issue (appeal through emotions - their kids). I figured, if I send 5,000 letters, perhaps I get an action rate of 2%, that could amount to 100 companies acting to reduce their product waste.
2. I could write to every politician that comes in contact with this issue on a regular basis - but what do I tell them? I think it needs to be something very specific and actionable, but maybe it doesn't?
3. I could create a website that helps expose the issue. I think, especially here in Japan people are just unaware of the environmental disaster pending outside their nation. It seems the island as a geographical feature creates a very strong bubble and we hardly ever hear about anything environment related. I could also do the same in U.S. (multi-language site)
That's where my creativity stops... what other things can I, or people like myself do right now to make an impact?
EDIT: If anyone wants to help me make a list of top Japanese company executives (preferably with their email, and or any other personal information we can find - hopefully their kids names), I can write a compelling letter + email to try to get past their gatekeepers.
EDIT 2: I am starting a doc to get info on Japanese Execs who have the most impact on this issue. I will try to find ways to communicate action to them in ways that do not cost them, preferably help generate additional revenue. Here is a link to anyone who would like to participate. I think if we crowd-source this issue, we can make an impact: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1biahioKkh7ZbYBxquWaM...
If nobody tried, changes would of course occur much less often. So there is that.
A captain for proper sanitation and waste disposal in China and Africa would greatly reduce this problem.
IMHO, doing a little to pick up trash in your local community--parks, rivers, waterways, lakes, beaches--goes a long way, not only for cosmetic reasons, but also to raise awareness.
My sincere belief is that cleaning the trash out of the Earth is something that everyone can get behind and is a monumental task that absolutely must be crowdsourced. The millions of tons of trash out there can really only be picked up and cleaned out by...millions of people.
We must ban plastics worldwide, we must recycle, and we must introduce proper waste management into areas where it is lacking, but we can't wait. Go pick some up!
Reduce consumption? I also wish I could have an impact on a large scale, but it seems quixotic. Environmental change is cultural change, and that takes a long time.
Those data are from 2011, and at the time China was importing huge quantities of plastic from the entire world. This was documented in Plastic China, a censored short film which rumor has it was instrumental in getting China to cut down on their mixed plastic imports. I'd be curious how the situation has changed since then.
It's an important distinction. The plastic is coming from Chinese rivers, but that doesn't mean it originated from Chinese consumers. It just means China wasn't rich enough to box it up and ship it across the border (like was done to them).
So yes, we may not be dumping our millions of daily plastic water bottles down the Mississippi like happens in the Ganges, but we could do a lot of good as a culture by intentionally modelling reusability and repair.
I don’t mean to single out just these manufacturers, as all profit seeking organizations seem to behave in this way where the harms of their actions are quietly ignored. Consumers buy in to this equally, or make some off hand remark about the waste and keep on going. It’s a cultural issue for sure, and I agree that exporting this way of life to places even less equipped to handle it is yet another of those unseen harms we all happily allow ourselves to ignore.
My hope is to combat all these issues by fighting to change our culture at home to one that is radically waste free. We can use the privilege that got us in to this position to help get out of it. We can learn to be waste free. Unfortunately we’re hooked on the disposable culture bad, and I’m not sure if we’ll ever get ourselves off it. We could, but time will tell if we care enough and are creative enough to do it.
At most it might cost a few cents more per unit, but when millions of them get dumped in a river somewhere, they won’t stay there permanently.
Trying to eliminate packaging altogether is hopeless at this point, I’d wager.
Doing that in the first world makes about as much sense as a tax on bowel movements because people in India don't use toilets and we need to pay for the increase in communicable diseases.
Quip's statement on the matter: https://help.getquip.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000320463-Is-q...
Do the domestic waste management companies that profited from collecting plastics, only to send waste to China bear any responsibility?
>Do the domestic waste management companies that profited from collecting plastics, only to send waste to China bear any responsibility?
I would say they bear all of the responsibility, or at least the vast majority of it, due to the fact they profited from doing what they knew was irresponsible.
EDIT: Other countries know that this is happening and should bear their share of the blame.
More generally, I hope more will push for taxes on all things we want to discourage as means of weening off. Oil, coal, plastic, high impact animal products. All of them have huge external costs, none of which are payed by the consumer or producer directly.
My only concern is that we are too far down to rabbit hole with cheap, ubiquitous, damaging materials that if the true cost was reflected in the price no one could afford anything.
The simplest example is just phasing in a 'negative externality tax'. First year is x * .1, second year is x * .2, etc.
I think the trade tariffs should be done the same way so that we don't just shock and awe and everyone can reposition in ways that works for all while also ultimately addressing the various parties issues. I don't understand the step function style introduction of change - it seems like a really clumsy approach.
The majority of this forum will think from a first world perspective.
Remember that per capita consumption of plastic in India is FAR lower than the first world average.
And then remember that no politician in the world can be elected, unless he promises growth - which directly means more consumption of plastic wrapped goods.
We haven't even seen peak plastic.
In only part jest, I think our best hope is a plastic eating bacterium, which will also mean that plastic ceases to be the wonder compound it is.
Political games are all there is.
That's not true. A better world is possible, but not if we restrict ourselves to shortminded solutions like taxes and electoral politics. This is a systemic flaw, you can't work inside of the system to try to solve it.
This surely is the answer - The issue is getting government to take a scientific and 'holistic' stance on legislating.
The issue is the delay between need becoming known, and governmental action (and, said governmental action is often watered down from internal debate and compromise).
One wonders which will mature first - Government or Consumer atttidues & action.
If consumer demands are quicker than the state, then Capitalism will solve this problem (people vote with wallets, and purchase items from organisations that identify and offset externalities)
If the state is quicker, then government will solve this problem (Identifying externalities and taxing).
Governmental solving of the problem appears preferable. It is an ideal entity for accountability and governance (by definition of course).
The reality is even worse than that: since capitalism has produced an increasingly impoverished proletariat, the cheapest most disposable goods are all that's affordable to much of the general population. We have the capability to make clothing that will last years, but we don't because it's not profitable for large corporations and the labor aristocrscy are the only ones who can afford quality goods.
We need to abolish the consumerist mindset inherent to and required by capitalism in order to save the Earth.
I think consumers would change their buying behavior if they knew the real cost of their purchases.
For that reason I believe there is a big opportunity (and chance to save the planet) for a startup to calculate this real cost in an automated way and influence buying behavior by making the consumers aware of it.
If the above does not sound like a crazy idea let's connect at http://eepurl.com/dEOz3n (I'm using this list to keep your email private)
I have been thinking this way for a long time but was unaware of a formal name for this idea/system. Glad to have a name to put to a concept and signed up for your mailing list.
In general, I do think we can price things, after all, we already do, just poorly (existing taxes). I really do agree that we have a pricing problem but I'm an optimist that worse case, we can calculate mitigation costs and then work backwards from there - not to suggest that is the right/best way to do it - just that it is one simple way to do it.
Based on the original comment of "I hope more will push for taxes on all things we want to discourage", my position is that crypto mining should be charged an additional fee for using huge amounts of electricity and negatively impacting the environment for speculative financing activities. Anyone who's concerned about the environmental impact of single occupancy vehicles or raising cattle should be horrified with the amount of energy consumed in mining crypto.
Given the higher cost of other materials, changing consumer behavior (which is not easy, but it's happening right now, and achievable through further exposure and education) may be the only way to change producers' behavior.
While a tax seems like an easy fix, it may also cause the government to come to rely on income from plastic acting as a deterrent to law-making which discourages the use of plastics.
I don't know how common such a thing is, but in Washington state if a tax is labeled as a "fee", it must be earmarked for a specific purpose. If we put a "plastic fee" on products packaged with single-use plastics, and then mandated the raised funds be used to clean up plastic waste, that could be a good way to avoid that very likely outcome.
That's the point: the higher the tax is, the more attractive the alternatives are.
This is not how it works. To what degree the tax gets "passed on to consumers" is based on relative elasticity of supply and demand in that market, not on the price of the good. You can read about it in absolutely any introductory microeconomics textbook.
Consumers generally have less pricing power than the relatively fewer producers.
Also, in truly commoditized markets where there's a lot of competition, producers aren't making large profits either, a tax increase in the raw materials must eventually be passed on to the consumer, since producers that fail to raise prices will lose money and be forced to exit the market.
So no matter how you slice it, 'not passing on the cost increase' is just not very likely with clothing, it's mostly a question of how long the price adjustment will take since there is some stickiness in consumer preference.
Consumers will buy far more of the now cheaper and more sustainable products and producers who continue using plastic will declare profit warnings and some will become insolvent.
Isn't that's how it's supposed to work?
Governments survived losing income from cigarette taxation thanks to e-cigarettes.
The extra weight of glass over plastic is significant. It's not an easy problem to solve. Hopefully truly compostable plastics will come along to save us, although they themselves emit gases when they decompose, and the additives may have food health risks.
But first, make sure you understand all of the environmental costs of alternatives to be sure you're not forcing people into an environmentally worse choice. Farming is not exactly a clean industry.
A synthetic shirt might have less carbon impact than a cotton shirt, but its plastic waste may be poisoning the oceans.
Or, as a made up example, coconut fiber shirt may have environmentally friendly organic degradable waste and a low direct carbon impact, while the demand for coconut caused millions of acres of native forest to be burnt down and replanted with coconut trees. Or maybe it caused the diversion of rivers for irrigation endangering fish and other ecosystems that relied on the rivers. Or maybe the newly planted trees displace food crops, leading to food shortages.
There are a lot of environmental externalities that are hard to account for, and some may not be known for years.
However, it's _also_ true that "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little."
Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you.
Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics.
Think about it. Will you think about it?
Shifting the burden of plastic waste onto consumers is extremely naive and foolish. Consumers have very little power compared to multinationals that profit greatly off of plastic waste.
Plastics should be banned, IMHO. But that can only happen step by step. To reach sustainability, we'll need to reduce plastic consumption by >90%. Taxes won't do that.
Taxes don't work to work to change behavior, or people would have stopped speeding a long time ago, sugary drinks wouldn't sell in Seattle, and people would stop buying coffee in California. They are an unfortunate excuse used by politicians to fool the public into "hey I'm doing something!".
Instead, innovation is needed around providing biodegradable solutions that can outcompete their plastic counterparts. People will naturally switch to something healthier for the environment when it's more convenient and it saves them money. In this light, taxing plastics looks like an act of desperation admitting that "alternatives will never be as good, we have to help them out!" This actually stalls development on the renewables since an artificially inflated market is created.
Finally, this would become a source of revenue for governments that would be hard to eliminate. When environmentally friendly solutions finally came about, we'll literally have people saying "If we ban plastics, how will we pay for schools?"
There is a huge investment opportunity to replace them in the vast majority of areas. We need research, innovation, and investment, not more taxes.
This is absolute nonsense and flies in the face of established economic theory backed up by empirical evidence. I don't understand why there are so many people in this thread pulling assertions out of their ass like this. HackerNews is better than that.
You go to the supermarket without your reusable bags, suddenly you're _paying_ for the bags.
You better believe that disposable plastic bag usage went _way_ down. People don't like to pay for what they're used to getting for free. It makes them unreasonably angry, in fact.
Angry enough to remember to bring their reusable bags, or to buy some on the spot.
We don't need to know absolutely the exact causal link, we just need to know while in this configuration, this trend is happening. Maybe certain things aren't needed for that trend, but like you say, we don't have the capability of much experiementing, we can have a lot of robust debate and make our best educated guesses and try different things and see what happens.
A tax is another kind of price increase and we do know, empirically, how to study changes in supply and demand. You can get good datasets for it and any company can do experiments by changing prices.
Logic is helpful in understanding how to analyze data but you can't get very far without data.
We don't have time to tinker with taxes in an attempt that we'll prevent total environmental collapse. We need radical solutions yesterday. We shouldn't restrict ourselves to thinking inside the economic system we currently have when it's the economic system we currently have that's gotten us here.
You do realize "work" isn't a binary thing?
> Our evidence suggests that increases in cigarette
taxes are associated with small decreases in cigarette consumption and that it will take sizable tax
increases, on the order of 100%, to decrease adult smoking by as much as 5%.
The tax was lowered back down.
> People will naturally switch to something healthier for the environment when it's more convenient and it saves them money.
Right, and one way to make the desired thing save consumers money is to apply tax policy.
(I am not taking a position either for or against taxing this specific issue.)
As some commenters have mentioned, these microplastics come from laundry, and more.
I'm currently working on developing disposable pads that are safe with a national Toms one for one model. Current pads and tampons from major brands are made with cotton that can have dioxin as a byproduct from the bleaching process, as well as rayon. Tiny pieces of rayon can get stuck and lead to complications like BVI, bacterial vaginosis. If a tampon can lead to health issues because of the plastic that can disintegrate in her body - I'm kind of really scared about what other type of damage microplastics in our drinking water can do. I mean we already have pictures of what it does to fish. What do microplastics do to the human body?
This is one of the things where I wish I was wrong, so if anyone can educate me on how this is an irrational anxiety, I'd appreciate it!
"Stage four is a high quality .0001 micron reverse osmosis membrane. This is where most of the hazardous contaminants such as arsenic, lead, and barium are removed."
Does this mean I'm safe from microplastics?
I emailed them earlier. Here’s their response:
“Thank you for contacting APEC Water Systems and I am happy to help!
We aren't for sure if it does remove plastic fibers as the presence have not yet been studied, but since the plastic in water is larger then atomical size the RO membrane should remove it due its 0.0001 micron filter.”
Common, uninteresting point-of-use filters are .5 microns.
Very inexpensive (the tap and the filter) and easy to add to your existing sink as a second tap.
They don't have the flow rate required for a whole house filter, but you can find high flow filters as fine as 5 microns. A whole house 5 micron chained to a .5 micron drinking tap is a pretty bulletproof filtration chain ...
What about Canada and Europe?
Some people are very sceptical about the project but it's the only project that is trying to collect plastic asap.
Asap = 18 days from now.
There are similar project in UK, Germany, Poland and other Baltic countries, this one is just bigger than all other combined.
Maybe you should check the website and see it for yourself.
Let's go for laws that limit children to under 47 per family.
In that context, it's just absurd how falling birth rates in developed nations are made out to be this "bad thing" that needs to be countered by government-sponsored "make more babies" programs, as seen in Russia, Singapore, and some other places.
That's how bottlenecks work, but not evolution. No species is going to evolve in the next century which will be able to suddenly break down plastic and turn it into energy/nutrients.
The ones that do, mostly bacertium and fungi, were pre-disposed to doing so, and didn't suddenly X-men their way into consuming plastic.
As for organisms such as the Chinese mealworm that "eats" plastic bags, jury is still out about whether it's actually chemically converting the plastic or merely biting it into smaller bits.
Such a species already exists: https://www.sciencealert.com/new-plastic-munching-bacteria-c...
There are also bacteria that can break down nylon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria
I don't understand why people are so dismissive of ideas that are a simple google search away.
> The ones that do, mostly bacertium and fungi, were pre-disposed to doing so, and didn't suddenly X-men their way into consuming plastic.
Not to be a smartass, but I don't understand why people read a post to the first sentence that upsets them then instantly reply without reading the rest.
Now the question is if something can break down PTFE.
For millions of years, nothing had the capability to eat dead plant matter. See the carboniferous period.
It's not too far fetched to assume this already-existent bacteria could continue to exist and possibly mutate into something more efficient or proliferate to encompass the entire ocean.
I was thinking more that the plastics in question are free-floating in a soluble medium and thus ripe for digestion by an opportunistic microbe.
EDIT: Just to clarify: As long as disasters happen slowly enough and there are actually local maxima for the species to evolve "into", everything may be fine for "humans"... but those assumptions may be overly optimistic.
There are mutations in microbes all the time that allow plastic digestion, probably millions every day.
Only needs one that really punches through.
It seems like a very tricky problem to solve. Plastic is such a wonderful material with so many important applications it is impossible to imagine a modern world without it.
But from what I understand not all plastic products contribute equally much to this problem, so perhaps one can make substitutes for only some key areas to make a difference.
I am not quite understanding this sentence. Size of the letters on a computer keyboard!? What?
edit: Most Americans know what 3/16" is, right?
Perhaps someone would go by and empty them every morning.
Hotels and resorts on beaches would love to have something like this.
What incentive do hospitality services have to perform this on bodies of water they do not have control of? Won’t it just be swapped with the same quality of water the next day?
Please. It's one of the worst things about this type of journalism and constantly gets in a way of a good story.
Check out this study, where they fed mice water, water+fructose, or water+fructose+BPA. At the end of the experiment, only the BPA containing solutions had elevated liver fat
Most importantly, though, that study doesn't indicate whether the effects, if they end up being reproducible, are caused by BPA alone, or the combination of BPA+sugar. It's well known in other scenarios that toxins, when combined with inflammatory foods like sugar, are far worse than they are in the absence of inflammatory foods.
I'm fairly convinced that BPA is slightly bad, I just think alternative plastics may turn out to have other compounds that are also bad, given horrible diets, and the best solution may be to fix the diet, rather than try to eliminate all toxins related to modern plastics (and the same argument may apply to pesticides). Other toxins from modern living will undoubtedly pop up, and if they all cause different and problematic diseases in combination with bad diets, but not so much in combination with good diets, how much energy do we really need to put into studying and eliminating toxins in a giant game of whack-a-mole?
This really does make sense. When that pathway is suppressed, the adipogenic program is activated, which turns on the SREBP-1 pathway and stores lipid droplets. Without this pathway activated, fructose is processed and exported out of the liver, preventing harm to the liver.
I would argue that we should really test every new manmade chemical against a library of our proteins before we synthesize anything new and introduce millions of tons of it to the world. Not doing so can have disasterous consequences.
Samuel Epstein, before he died, documented a great many examples of horror stories we just barely averted.
Aside from that though, there are many other mouse studies.
As well as studies showing that BPA in human urine is associated with insulin resistance and obesity
People reach obesity from overeating, no matter what their choice of calorie-dense foods, but it's typically sugar or fats, and sugar is the cheapest/most available.
Being obese is clearly a causative factor towards T2B . How are these obvious truths 'running on a treadmill'?
High fat consumption raises inflammatory profiles through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Carbohydrates seem to cause similar inflammation, but this is largely do to advanced gylcation end-products created from fructose, specifically.
Overeating is not interesting. The reason people do overeat is very interesting, and if you hit the literature you find that this is largely driven by damage to the hypothalamus by environmental exposure.
What if it's not. What if people just overeat because life is boring, and food tastes good, and we all have differing levels of willpower & education on nutrition?
> if you hit the literature you find that this is largely driven by damage to the hypothalamus by environmental exposure.
Sounds like nonsense, can you elaborate?
Then we need to explain why this suddenly became a problem in the 1970s. Life is more boring now? We all lost our willpower? People understood nutrition better before that?
Something has changed, either in humanity or the environment. My bet is the environment.
Since theres no blood brain barrier here, these neurons get damaged easily due to things in the blood. When that happens, they don't see leptin anymore, and obesity develops. Fructose and high fat diets have both been shown to cause inflammation here. (hypothalamic gliosis)
heres a random selection of many papers
We also know that certain viruses show up in obese people (adenovirus36). As the field develops, I would not be surprised if labs demonstrate both viral infection of the hypothalamic ARC and damage by endocrine disruptors there.
Yes, let's ignore 50+ years of established science that is parsimonious with everything we know about the molecular biology of insulin resistance, and dump it in favor of a fringe theory, based on a single paper about a mouse study, where there's not even a plausible explanatory mechanism.
Folks, stop downvoting simply because someone provides a link. The parent is spouting pseudo-scientific nonsense.
There are literally not. The review you've linked to cites a handful of papers involving minor effects observed in mouse studies.
Moreover, the paper you originally cited proves nothing even approximating a mechanism. I'm not suggesting anything about the safety of BPA, but it's utter nonsense to claim that it is a more plausible explanation for the diabetes epidemic than sugar consumption.
A few mouse studies do not change 50+ years of established science on the relationship between sugar and diabetes.
Elevated blood glucose, as in Type 2 Diabetes, has LONG been known to be primarily driven by excessive production of glucose by the liver due to liver insulin resistance. In fact, the way that the drug metformin improves diabetes is by shutting that pathway down.
Thats not dietary, thats the hormone insulin being ignored by the liver. This is further complicated by the fact that peripheral tissues, like muscle, are themselves insulin resistant.
The TCF7L2 pathway has been shown to be down-regulated in all of these tissues in diabetics.
Observing that it is downregulated in diabetics provides no evidence for or against any theories concerning BPA.
And out of a compound library of 20k chemicals, BPA had the top effect on it.
Seems significant to me
Also worth noting that BPA has been shown to specifically effect the occupancy of TCF7L2 at transcription factor binding sites in Chip-Seq experiments.
Lastly, before calling someone else's claims psuedoscientific, you may want to do some homework and check your previous biases. We could certainly use someone with your skills to help model BPAs interaction with the Androgen receptor. Might just save millions of lives....
Forgive me, but I don't have time for this.
It’s pretty interesting to think about how easy it is to muddy the waters like this. Something starts off as a direct medical concern, but then sprals into a secondary contamination problem. Both are bad. Plastics are bad for a variety of reasons, and sugars definitely contribute to obesity.
But, horomonal factors really cannot be shrugged at. There’s some serious distortion affecting people for the past 20 or more years, and it’s nothing normal. Is it birth control pills being dumped down the drain, and recirculating into the drinking water? Is it ibuprofen messing with people who have over dosed on their analgesic NSAIDs?
One thing’s for sure modern civilization has inteoduced many complications, all simultaneously, and that is likely the biggest mistake of all.
Also, I’m not sure you’ve used the word “parsimonious” correctly? Are you trying to say they’ve been “very careful” or “strict”? I think it’d be more appropriate to replace it with “well aligned” or “concomitant” if a vocabulary word should be preferred.
Diabetes in Asia and the Pacific: Implications for the Global Epidemic, https://doi.org/10.2337/dc15-1536
( http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/3/472 )
Someone needs to do a dietary and sociological study of Vietnam, because it looks like they've been least affected by the diabetes epidemic, up until the early 2010s at least.
While the plastic itself may not be directly causing diabetes, the increased availability of food might be allowing people to overeat and give themselves diabetes.
However, I can only imagine the amount of harm continued consumption of plastic over a long period of time will do to a body, and I foresee that it will become clear that an increasing amount of people will be dealing with problems from precisely that in the next couple of decades.
The reason you've always heard that (processed) carbs and sugars causes it, is probably because processed carbs and sugar is most often served with huge amounts of fat. Think oils and animal fat in cakes, candy, fries and so on. In any way, it isn't the cause, the cause is the fat, but rising levels of carbs and sugar go hand in hand with rising levels of fat.
Research has linked diabetes to inflammation, which may be related to body chemistry or infection or both.
Source? Insulin resistance is literally a drop in insulin sensitivity caused by intramyocellular lipid, which is the build-up of fat inside muscle cells.
> Research has linked diabetes to inflammation, which may be related to body chemistry or infection or both.
Not as one being the cause of the other. If I'm not mistaken, they are both symptoms caused by for example saturated fat and (possibly) increased BPA consumption, not caused by one another.
However, very interesting read indeed, thank you!
The reason a ketogenic diet reverses type 2 diabetes in some people are because either a) those people go from eating extremely unhealthy to following a specific diet or b) they eat less calories than their bodies use thus they loose weight and thus the plague built-up can reverse. A ketogenic diet that allows too much fat will give you type 2 diabetes just like any other diet that allows for too high fat consumption.
Also there are different kinds of carbs. As long as you keep to whole-food carbs, you practically can't eat too many (except for a few kinds like nuts and seeds and avocados) because you will be full long before it's too much. It's a different story with processed carbs, where you almost have eaten too much just by looking at them.
What do you mean by "cause type 2 diabetes"? Type 2, you body is simply not making a sufficient amount of insulin to get the desired effect. In many cases, this is because the individual has developed "insulin resistance" but the pancreas is producing what would be an adequate amount otherwise. And this is usually due to "fat", as in, fat stores in that individual. It is not directly related to consumption of fat.
EDIT: This does not take into account other causes of type 2 diabetes and only deals with a single scenario.
No, that is type 1.
> In many cases, this is because the individual has developed "insulin resistance" but the pancreas is producing what would be an adequate amount otherwise. And this is usually due to "fat", as in, fat stores in that individual. It is not directly related to consumption of fat.
Indeed, but the body prioriteses food, and it's easier for the body to store saturated fat than carbs, and since people in the western world where diabetes and other heart diseases rule, over consumption of whole-food carbs doesn't, but instead oils and other fatty-food does, so I'd say that is more likely the cause. Also the studies done supports this. You could check out this 5 min video and this that talks about a few studies that showed that insulin resistance decreases and diabetics of 20 years gets off insulin in mere weeks, on the same amount of calories, after they switch to a diet that prioriteses whole-food carbs over fat. All studies referenced in the videos are linked to.
Eating complex, unrefined carbs is overall the healthiest way to get the calories you need to keep your body fueled.
Stop downvoting people you simply disagree with.
A drying oil is an oil that hardens to a tough, solid film
after a period of exposure to air. The oil hardens through
a chemical reaction in which the components crosslink (and
hence, polymerize) by the action of oxygen (not through
the evaporation of water or other solvents). Drying oils
are a key component of oil paint and some varnishes. Some
commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, tung oil,
poppy seed oil, perilla oil, and walnut oil. Their use has
declined over the past several decades, as they have been
replaced by alkyd resins and other binders.
Refined oil will go rancid in the kitchen just as easily as cold pressed and you will noticed since it will smell sweet and then putrid.
Common cooking oils including canola do not oxidize well nor do they dry well which is why you would not use them on say wood because they will not dry and will just go rancid.
The petroleum distillate hexane is used to extract the oil from seed meal, then is boiled off: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_oil#Solvent_extracti...
The specific step I'm referring to is "steam deodorization": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_oil#Deodorization
If you are going to link to Wikipedia at least bother reading the damn article.
If you want to talk about the potential health impact of oils then erucic acid consumption might be a topic for discussion despite the lack of conclusive research on the subject so excessive canola oil consumption might be an issue despite it being capped at 2% in the US and 5% in the EU if you consume enough of it you might cause cardio vascular damage if the existing correlated data also indicates causation.
But vegetable oils in general are not bad and are not sold as rancid that’s wrong, if you want to be on the extreme edge of the safe line then you can substitute canola oil with coconut, sunflower or peanut oil quite easily and these days also without paying a premium.
Linseed oil was renamed "flaxseed oil" when the market for stain made with linseed oil dried up.
Containers of vegetable oils typically develop a sticky film on them, due to the drying oil effect.
I also looked at this website about "Linseed oil market analysis" , which shows that Paints & Varnishes is still the largest user of linseed oil. Then processed foods, then pharma, then cosmetic, then flooring (which is probably also as a finish).
I'm eye-balling the graphs because they don't have a table, but it looks like processed foods is only about 20% of the market. That might be a lot, I don't know, but it doesn't seem fair to say all this excess linseed oil is going into foods because there is no other use for it.
The chemicals that make rancid oils taste and smell bad are generally the smaller bits that come off the molecule when its double bonds are attacked by oxygen: the aldehydes and ketones, and the short saturated fatty acids like butyric acid.