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Is That A Fiber In My Fish?


You may not see them with the naked eye but they are most defiantly there. Mircofibers may go unnoticed by us humans but to fish, shellfish and other aquatic animals, they appear to be their next meal. To get an idea of how small they really are, check out these fibers we collected in one of our Filtrol160 filter bags during a load of laundry:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

So what’s the big deal about something so small?

First we need to understand what a microfiber is. Microfibers are tiny fibers that are shed from your clothing every time they are washed. Now some of those fibers may be natural and will in time biodegrade but 60% of our clothing today is made from what is called synthetics, which is a man-made product of plastic and is non bio-degradable. Thousands of these fibers will go along with the waste water from your washing machine. That water will then go to your local waste water treatment plant to be filtered.

Problem solved right? Not quite.

Although waste water treatment plants can remove anywhere between 85%- 95% of the pollutants in the water it processes, because of the size of the microfibers, 65 million of them are still sneaking the system, daily. Once they get pass the waste water treatment plant they are then released into local water ways like lakes, rivers, and oceans.

The plot thickens…

Now all of those tiny plastic microfibers are in our water and they’re not going anywhere but where they don’t belong! Once there, these fibers do something very much like a snowball effect. They start attracting toxics found in the water, building layers of harmful contaminants. Due to their small size they become appealing to something else that is small, microorganisms like plankton. Welcome to the food chain microfibers. 

Moving on Up.

Once the plankton ingests a microfiber, it can remain in their system for hours and can also have negative effects on their eating habits. Plankton is a main food source for many aquatic animals such as shrimp, crab, clams and all sizes of fish. Up the food chain those microfibers go. Can you guess the next link that has the pleasure of ingesting the unwanted fibers? You guessed it, all of us that can’t resist an awesome sushi bar or an all you can eat shrimp and fish fry. Here's a visual of everything I just explained because who doesn't love pictures in a story. 


Keep fibers off your plate!

There are ways to reduce to the amount of microfibers reaching our waterways. One way would be installing a lint filter that attaches directly to your washing machine discharge hose. With this you would be preventing the microfibers from ever leaving your house. Check out our lint filter the Filtrol160 and keep those fibers out of your diet. 


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