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NORTH CAROLINA – Chronic exposure to microplastic fibres causes aneurysms, erosion of surface layers and other serious damage to fish gills, new research has found. It also increases egg production in female fish, a sign that chemicals in the synthetic textile fibres may be acting as endocrine disruptors, according to US and Chinese scientists.

“Past field studies have shown that many fish eat large quantities of the fibres every day but have protective mechanisms within the gut that seem to be preventing damage,” said David E. Hinton, distinguished professor of environmental quality at Duke University. “But when you extend your study down to the tissue and cellular levels, as we did, harmful changes are observed.”

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