Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have discovered a new disease in birds. Plasticosis, caused by the ingestion of excessive amounts of plastic can lead to scars in the digestive tract from ingesting waste.

Plasticosis Is Caused By Plastic Pollution 

According to the study, published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, this is the first study of its kind to record plastic-induced disease in birds. Since plastic pollution is becoming prevalent the scarring was seen across different ages and types of birds.

The amount of scarring seen in birds was directly related to the amount of plastic the birds had ingested. Plasticosis along with tubular degeneration can also cause birds to become more vulnerable to infection and parasites. As well as, affect their ability to digest food and absorb some vitamins.

“This study clearly demonstrates the ability of plastic to directly induce severe, organ-wide scar tissue formation or ‘plasticosis’ in wild, free-living animals, which is likely to be detrimental to individual health and survival,” researchers write.

“As plastic emissions continue to grow and plastic pollution becomes increasingly prevalent in all environments globally. It is likely that exposure of all organisms to plastic is inevitable.” 

Image source: natgeo

Read More: A ‘Living Medicine’ Can Now Treat Lung Infections

Researchers Warn 

“This study is the first time that stomach tissue has been investigated in this way and shows that plastic consumption can cause serious damage to these birds’ digestive system.”

According to Dr. Bond, a lead researcher in the study states.

“The tubular glands, which secrete digestive compounds, are perhaps the best example of the impact of plasticosis. When plastic is consumed, these glands get gradually more stunted. Hence, they eventually lose their tissue structure entirely at the highest levels of exposure.”

“The ingestion of plastic has far-reaching and severe consequences. Many of which we are only just beginning to fully document and understand,” the authors of the study warned. Since the use of plastic is inevitable, researchers suggest bringing forth such policies and standards which can at least minimize the exposure of birds to plastic.

Read More: Can Stress Speed Up Vision Loss? Find Out

Stay tuned to Brandsynario for the latest news and updates.