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NDR - research shows: Especially the high-priced salt Fleur de Sel contains plastic

,
, RHEWUM GmbH

On behalf of the NDR-consumer magazine “Markt”, Scientists at the Institute for Biology and Chemistry of the Sea at the University of Oldenburg have examined samples of the most popular Fleur de Sel brands. The results are concerning.

After English scientists were able to prove the contamination of sea salts by microplastics last year (see article dated 10.08.2017), the NDR turned its attention now to the analysis of different varieties of Fleur de Sel and compared them with conventional sea salts.

Fleur de Sel is considered as the noblest and most expensive sea salt, because it is skimmed by hand from the water surface. All the more frightening are the results of the current study for consumers: The content of microplastics in all samples was between 130 and 1,800 micrograms per kilogram. In one case, plastic fibers were even visible to the bare eye. In the conventional sea salts tested, "only" 14 to 59 micrograms were found.

Source: Norddeutscher Rundfunk, 2018

The residues found are typical components of packaging waste: polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). There are no legal limits for the content of microplastics in food in Germany or Europe. Although the amounts found are initially considered to be harmless to humans, Prof. Dr. Edmund Maser from the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology of Kiel University, cautions consumers against the long- term consequences. Because microplastics can function as a vehicle and transport pollutants such as DDT, dioxin, and also heavy metals into the human body and cause the release of these substances.

RHEWUM has developed a process to remove the fine particles of packaging waste from the seawater. Since the particles of the microplastics are larger than 200 microns (0.2 mm), it is technically possible to sieve the impurities before the seawater crystallizes. Unfortunately, this method is not yet used by the manufacturers.

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