Thanks a lot! Now the clothes in your closet are polluting the planet

You know that non-iron dress shirt or sexy cocktail dress you love? It’s killing Mother Earth!

Last week, we learned we can’t drink white wine without getting cancer. Today, well, we find out that research says maybe if we really cared about the planet we’d go naked. Or maybe wear hemp or something wrinkly.

According to a story on Health News Florida from WSFU-FM, new research shows pollution in the Gulf of Mexico is coming straight from our closets.  The culprit: polyester, nylon and acrylics that are washing out of household fabrics and into the ocean.

University of Florida scientist Maia McGuire, who is marshaling up this research told WSFU-FM, that scientists aren’t just concerned about styrofoam, plastic bags and K-cups anymore.  Microscopic pieces of plastic are believed to be tiny fibers coming from clothing.

“Essentially they are from fabrics or other items that are made of little tiny threads of petroleum-based plastics. So when you think of fabric like polyester and nylon and acrylic,” she said.

University of Florida scientist Maia McGuire thinks microscopic fibers found in the Gulf of Mexico is washing out of our clothes.

These plastic microfibers are starting to show up in the stomachs of plankton, fish and oysters.

“That is something that a lot of people are trying to figure out. We know a lot of organisms, a lot of marine life are consuming these plastics,” McGuire said.

McGuire says the best way for consumers to limit pollution from plastic microfibers is to be more aware of their purchases, check the labels, and limit the use of plastic-based products.

So pick up an iron for goodness sakes!

To read the whole Health News Florida article click here.

Study: Florida cancer hot spots higher hazardous waste sites

Florida has the sixth highest number of hazardous waste sites in the U.S. The Sunshine States is also projected to have the second largest number of new cancer cases in the country.

A new study says there just may be a connection.

Researchers from the University of Florida and the University of Missouri School of Medicine studied cancer incidence rates in relation to Superfund hazardous waste sites and found a possible correlation, according to an article in Science Daily 

“We reviewed adult cancer rates in Florida from 1986 to 2010,” said Emily Leary, assistant professor at the MU School of Medicine and co-author of the study. “We found the rate of cancer incidence increased by more than 6 percent in counties with Superfund sites.”

Florida is home to 77 sites that currently are or have been classified as Superfund sites by the Environmental Protection Agency. Adults cancers were the only one studied since pediatric cancers tend to be genetic.

“This work is novel because it is another piece of evidence to support an environmental cause of cancer,” Leary said.

“While it would be premature to say these differences are attributed to Superfund sites, there does appear to be an association. ”

Alexander Kirpich, a post-doctoral associate at the University of Florida and co-author of the study, said the hope is that the findings will help public health agencies dedicate more efforts to areas with cancer hot spots.”

The study, “Superfund Locations and Potential Associations with Cancer Incidence in Florida,” recently was published online in Statistics and Public Policy.