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Fleece Jackets Polluting the World's Oceans

Polyester fibers come off in the wash: study
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2011 2:20 PM CST

(Newser) – The Stuff White People Like blog has mocked people for wearing "outdoor performance clothes" everywhere they go, but who knew those fleece pullovers are also dirtying up our oceans. A recent study shows that nearly 2,000 polyester fibers can come loose from one piece of clothing in the wash. Those fibers float in sewage discharge that goes in our oceans, perhaps eaten by fish who move through the food chain and become lint on our dinner plates, reports Mother Jones via Grist.

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The research is new, and nobody knows what effect it will have—but few would argue that plastic laundry lint is a healthy diet for any creature, Mother Jones notes. The problem won't "trump CO2 in the atmosphere" in priority, but the findings are "provocative," an environmental chemist tells Science. "It never ceases to amaze me that we continue to find more pollutants entering the coastal environment. What else is out there we may be missing?" (Read more pollution stories.)

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