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Paint Dust Covers the Upper Layer of the World's Oceans

Unknown Lamer posted about a month ago | from the zooplankton-love-fiberglass dept.

Earth 141

sciencehabit (1205606) writes Even when the sea looks clean, its surface can be flecked with tiny fragments of paint and fiberglass. That's the finding from a study that looked for plastic pollution in the uppermost millimeter of ocean. The microscopic fragments come from the decks and hulls of boats, and they could pose a threat to zooplankton, an important part of the marine food web.

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first (-1, Offtopic)

ClintJCL (264898) | about a month ago | (#47631515)

post?

Re:first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631647)

>Karma: Bad (mostly from not giving a fuck)

That still makes you a bad person, whether you say awful things because you have awful thoughts, or just say awful things because you somehow get off on it and call it not giving a fuck.

Also, "first post" people invariably suck. Time to rethink your life, and improve, or unplug your internet connection as a kindness to everyone who doesn't have to deal with you face to face.

FEEEEEED ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47633787)

The irony in this post is delectable!

Re:first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631705)

CONGRATULATIONS!! You fine sir/madam/whatever are the brand new and mildly shy winner of the Slashdot first post Friday GRAND PRIZE!

Please leave all of your possessions behind as you move into your life as a Bazillionare ......... Oh and have a great weekend.

First post ever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631523)

That's it

It sad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631551)

how many articles posted here make Republicans happy. For everyone, these stories are depressing.

Re:It sad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631555)

Fuck you.

Re:It sad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631619)

how many articles posted here make Republicans happy. For everyone, these stories are depressing.

They are just forward thinking. Now that there is a layer of crap in the ocean, they can figure out a way to make the water more reflective and fight off solar radiation, cooling the oceans a bit to stop storms from growing stronger and lowering the over all atmospheric temperature.

slowly (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | about a month ago | (#47631623)

We're slowly poisoning ourselves. At one point, there will be NO turning back. Scientists have warned us enough!

Re: slowly (3, Insightful)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a month ago | (#47631655)

Or it is alarmism. Could threaten zooplankton doesn't mean it will or is likely to. Take every news story with some skepticism.

Re: slowly (-1, Troll)

Tailhook (98486) | about a month ago | (#47631753)

Take every news story with some skepticism.

They can't. They've been inculcated with the "silent spring" narrative since birth and they indulge the fears and hates with which they've been trained. Stories and reporting that fit the narrative are given the benefit of the doubt, and those that question are for hating.

Re: slowly (4, Insightful)

dywolf (2673597) | about a month ago | (#47631999)

because the conclusions of Silent Spring are somehow invalid and pesticides are so safe you could just gobble them up willy nilly?

some of the people decrying the human impact on the world may be alarmist or overreacting, but they are far less dangerous than those who try to say that there's no impact, nothing is wrong, and everything is/will be fine, so stop worrying.

you can try to impugn one side by saying bias, and defend the other by again claiming bias, but that's irrelevent. the science says what it will, and if you follow the science, that's all that matters. in the case of evolution, global warming, or vaccines the science says "its real", "its happening" and "they work". end of story.

in this new avenue of research the science doesnt say a whole lot yet. its only just started to ask the question, the question being, paraphrased, "is there potential harm here to plankton from particulates in the very top most layer?". there's already been questions asked about the micro-plastics we flush into the water daily (espcially the new fad of plastic microbeads in soaps) that can make it through water treatment plants into the rivers or lakes or oceans, and evidence found that they can buildup in and eventually block fish gills. so this is then related to that line of thinking, but is a new question itself. and it's a good question because plankton is one of the most important (if not THE most important) classes of life on Earth. its the very first link in the food chain for a majority of life on Earth. Further its also the primary producer of oxygen, both atmospheric and water-dissolved, which is fairly important too.

Re: slowly (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47632135)

Like most things the truty is probably somewhere in the middle. Plastic and paint floating on the ocean is not good and will no doubt do some harm but it's not likely to end all life on the planet. Maybe some really big skimmers? Solar powered of course.

Re: slowly (1)

dpilot (134227) | about a month ago | (#47632443)

Nothing shy of a nearby gamma burst or the eventual day when the sun goes red-giant is likely to end all life on Earth.

But there are a lot of things shy of that that can make life really uncomfortable for us, perhaps terminally so. It's happened 5 times before, to longer-lived species than us.

Re: slowly (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a month ago | (#47632951)

Like most things the [truth] is probably somewhere in the middle.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/B... [rationalwiki.org]

Re: slowly (1)

kyrsjo (2420192) | about a month ago | (#47634377)

This is a true fallacy when the conclusion is already drawn, such as media trying to present "both sides" of climate change as if the relevant sides where "yes, it's warming" and "no, it's cooling" -- while the actual discussion is more like "is the impact of effect X on K equal A or B=A+0.01*A, while taking the interaction with effect Y into account?", where the relevant sides of the discussion are those saying it's A and those saying it is 1.01*A.

In this case (paint dust and zooplankton), I'm less sure if the effect is that well known, so presenting the argument between "it's important" and "it's less important" might be correct.

So in conclusion, the journalists can usually present a "balance" and be factually correct, but then it has to be between two sides of a non-settled question.

Re: slowly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632161)

because the conclusions of Silent Spring are somehow invalid and pesticides are so safe you could just gobble them up willy nilly?

...

No, because it's Luddite misanthropy.

Aww, hell. Who am I kidding. Calling knee-jerk "environmentalism" Luddite misanthropy is too flattering and gives it too much intellectual heft. It's not that deep. It's simply "MAN == EVIL".

Re: slowly (3, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a month ago | (#47632369)

because the conclusions of Silent Spring are somehow invalid and pesticides are so safe you could just gobble them up willy nilly?

Don't be stupid. There's a profound difference between using something responsibly and being a complete moron. Drinking too much water can kill you. Mercury can kill you, but we put it in CFL fluorescent lamps. Many cleaning products are toxic. Do you have a hard time not drinking or eating them?

Many of the conclusions in Silent Spring are questionable, at best [thenewatlantis.com] I'm sure there is validity to some, or even much of it. But that's how you make a good lie, isn't it? I'd like to think that Rachel Carson had the best of intentions with this book. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

you can try to impugn one side by saying bias, and defend the other by again claiming bias, but that's irrelevent. the science says what it will, and if you follow the science, that's all that matters.

Science doesn't say anything. It's our, as a race, interpretations of what we observe. It doesn't take sides or have opinions. If the observations are wrong, then most of the time the conclusions are also wrong.

in the case of evolution, global warming, or vaccines the science says "its real", "its happening" and "they work". end of story.

There is no "end of story". Yes vaccines work. But that doesn't mean we should stop. They can always work better, or be improved. Some vaccines have had terrible side effects in the past. We should keep working to improve them.

Obviously AWG is occurring. But if it's "end of story" we should stop spending money on proving it further, shouldn't we? But it's a very complex problem, and all of the politics and money involved on both sides has clouded this issue almost beyond comprehension. As if it wasn't difficult enough without all the noise.

Scientific theories are disproved, revised and improved upon all the time. That's the very nature of science. There is no "end of story". It's a journey, not a destination. How many scientific theories have lasted 500 years? 100 years? Or even 50 years?

scientific theories that have lasted 500 years? (2)

Layzej (1976930) | about a month ago | (#47633927)

Scientific theories are disproved... How many scientific theories have lasted 500 years? 100 years? Or even 50 years?

The three cases in question (evolution, global warming, and vaccines) have all been around for more than 100 years. The practice of science (or natural philosophy) is not 500 years old, so it is unlikely that any of her findings are older. Even so, none of the three examples will be overturned after 500 years. It is implausible that we will eventually find out that vaccines actually don't work, or that evolution isn't really happening, etc. We have observed all of these.

Re: slowly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632559)

How many people would have been saved death or life of poor health from malaria versus how many would have been hurt or killed by DDT?

97%, so FU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632853)

If 'the science' said it, it must be true. Leonardo would probably double check anyways.

Re: slowly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632859)

because the conclusions of Silent Spring are somehow invalid and pesticides are so safe you could just gobble them up willy nilly?

Yes, the conclusions of Silent Spring *are* invalid. Rachel Carson was a left-wing nut job. And DDT actually is safe to eat. Read how the inventor went around the country eating a teaspoon (or was it a tablespoon?) of it at each speech. Did it kill him? No. Did he get cancer? No. DDT is safe and eliminating it costs about 1 million human lives every year because we can't control the mosquitoes spreading disease.

Re: slowly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47633817)

How many eggshells failed as a result of DDT? But that doesn't matter, does it? Since none of them were *human* then YOU can spew the garbage and lies you just did with no thought for any other species [or any other person, for that matter] than your piece o' shit self. But then, that's what POS right wing nut jobs are all about -- destroy the earth and everything in it because some mysterious old white haired ghost in the sky told you to. You're pathetic, and a fully qualified member of the 'open season' targets.

Re: so are Alkyd bad or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47633179)

Wiki: Because the major components of an alkyd coating, i.e. fatty acids and triglyceride oils, are derived from low cost renewable resources, this has kept the cost of alkyd coatings very low despite ever increasing cost of petroleum, which is the predominant raw material source of most other coatings such as vinyls, acrylics, epoxies, and polyurethanes. Typical sources of drying oils for alkyd coatings are: linseed, tung, sunflower oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, fish oil, corn oil, DCO. (made by dehydrating castor oil, which creates a semi drying, conjugated, oil/fatty acid), and tall oil (resinous oil by-product from pulp and paper manufacturing). Non drying/ plasticizer resins are made from castor, palm, coconut oils and cardura (a synthetic fatty, versatic acid). Dehydrated castor oil was at one time the only oil allowed to be used in resin manufacture in India, no edible oils were allowed to be used.

Re: slowly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47634681)

I have no idea what "silent spring" is... I assume a publication of some kind from context... but you are being hypocritical.

because the conclusions of Silent Spring are somehow invalid and pesticides are so safe you could just gobble them up willy nilly?

vaccines.."they work". end of story"

First of all, effectiveness isn't the debate looming over vaccines. It is safety. Just because XYZ-pharmacorp who stands to gain from it says "all vaccines are safe, we make them all the same way and we tested the first one pretty good", doesn't mean it's true. Even if it's a little true, that doesn't mean it's 100% true. And just because one vaccine is safe, and others are made a similar way, does not mean ALL vaccines are automagically safe.

The majority of the debate over vaccines, IMHO, is the amount of hubris over it being safe, like people are just supposed to stick something in their body and take the word of people who clearly demonstrate ignorance of facts like the method of production being different, ingredient substitions, etc. They just blindly assume that it was all accounted for, but none of the studies actually show that (on the rare instances that any are actually done).

ALL evidence for new vaccines is collected by the pharma co who plans to make money off of it. Studies done by impartial parties or governments aren't done until decades later. The problem is, proponents of vaccines claim "it's been proven", when it truely hasn't. It was a different vaccine, under different circumstances.

Saying "vaccines are safe". Is like saying "drugs are safe". Not all drugs are safe, and even when they are, not for all human beings equally. Not all drugs interact with the human body the same way. You can't broadly prove anything like that. It is the very essence of hubris.

Balancing skepticism (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | about a month ago | (#47631797)

It's important not to accept any input as pure fact on its face. It's equally important to accept facts that are verified, even if inconvenient. Far too often, "healthy skepticism" is another way to say "inconvenient so LA LA LA LA LA (fingers in ears)".

Fact is that micro pollutants are just now entering the threshold of human understanding - and it's a bigger problem than just about anybody guessed.

Re:Balancing skepticism (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a month ago | (#47631875)

just because we are just finding out about them, when shipping has been happening for centuries kind of tells me that its not a bigger problem than anyone guessed as it hasnt shown to be a problem

Re:Balancing skepticism (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a month ago | (#47632219)

You know wha an 'integral' is in math?
The current AGW situation is not driven by the current output of CO2.
It is driven by the output during the previous 150 years. Sure, we are on peak output, but ten years of what we put out right mow is far away from what we did the last hundred years.
Nevertheless the problem is right now.
Exactly the same as with the article we talk about.

Re:Balancing skepticism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632227)

Hulls were primarily wooden until how long ago?

Re: Balancing skepticism (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a month ago | (#47632299)

Wooden hulls were painted as well.

Re: Balancing skepticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632507)

Not that far back in history, no.

Re: Balancing skepticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47634253)

Most wooden hulls were clad in copper, and/or painted in tar/bitumen.

Paint technology has always been challenged by the marine environment. But not any more. And now, low and behold, there is paint appearing in the water column.

Re:Balancing skepticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632289)

I don't have the numbers, but the amount of ships has probably increased a lot in the last 100 years alone. Also it seems likely that the paint used today is different from Columbus' days; maybe it's worse, maybe it's better in regards to pollution. Shipping's long history doesn't tell whether this paint dust is a big problem or not.

Re:Balancing skepticism (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a month ago | (#47632489)

just because we are just finding out about them, when shipping has been happening for centuries kind of tells me that its not a bigger problem than anyone guessed as it hasnt shown to be a problem

No, no it does not. You can make that assumption, but it is not in any way supported by the given evidence. That we're finding out about it now only means that we've found out about it now; it tells us nothing about the scope. A whole new family of plastics was just invented by accident. You don't think we've been looking for new plastics? And it's not like it was some strange new combination of things, it was leaving out an ingredient. The truth is that we miss things all the time which look obvious in hindsight, either because of coincidence or because we finally became able to detect them.

Re:Balancing skepticism (2)

mopower70 (250015) | about a month ago | (#47633739)

Fact is that micro pollutants are just now entering the threshold of human understanding - and it's a bigger problem than just about anybody guessed.

Fact is, that's a logically inconsistent statement. If it's just now entering the threshold of human understanding, than there can't possibly be enough evidence to call it a "bigger problem than just about anybody guessed". Unless, of course, nobody thought it was a problem at all - in which case they wouldn't be called pollutants, but unicorn dust or leprechaun farticles.

Re:Balancing skepticism (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a month ago | (#47634599)

> Fact is that micro pollutants are just now entering the threshold of human understanding

Or perhaps micro pollutants are just now entering the threshold of human measurement, and the News is reporting it because it's a new thing. (Hence the name.)

Re: slowly (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631881)

We'll have to see what the effect ends up being; but there is reason to be a bit concerned about marine paint. Hull fouling is a drag and people go to some lengths to avoid it. Hull paints formulated to slow fouling are quite common and work by being enthusiastically biocidal.

Re: slowly (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47633109)

We'll have to see what the effect ends up being; but there is reason to be a bit concerned about marine paint. Hull fouling is a drag and people go to some lengths to avoid it. Hull paints formulated to slow fouling are quite common and work by being enthusiastically biocidal.

Except the TFA didn't talk about biocidal hull paint except to note they didn't find it (the paint flecks are heavy and probably drop to the bottom).

The other Important Bit is to note that this study was done in one area of Korea. We need a bit more research in other places to determine how widespread the issue is. I've seen 'third world' fishing boats that almost entirely paint (and a few scattered boards). Compared to say, American or European boats that are predominantly aluminum and there is a question of exactly how wide spread this issue is.

Re: slowly (3, Funny)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a month ago | (#47633513)

Compared to say, American or European boats that are predominantly aluminum

So then we're creating a problem of Alzheimer's in the plankton.

Perhaps that explains his devotion to the Chum Bucket and his continued attempts to get the crabby patty recipe?

Re: slowly (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47631905)

Or it is alarmism. Could threaten zooplankton doesn't mean it will or is likely to. Take every news story with some skepticism.

The problem with alarmism is that it makes people skeptical about everything, even real problems. After people read so many stories about the worlds glaciers melting by 2030, and the giant continent sized island of trash in the Pacific, and then later find out that these are wild hyperbole, they stop taking anything seriously. People like Al Gore, that try to scare people into action by exaggerating problems, do a great disservice. We are all better off just telling the truth.

Re: slowly (1, Flamebait)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a month ago | (#47632233)

You are completely right, except for: Al Gore dod not exaggerate anything!

Re: slowly (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a month ago | (#47634655)

You are completely right, except for: Al Gore dod not exaggerate anything!

I was going to respond, but it's too easy a target.

Re: slowly (-1, Troll)

mpe (36238) | about a month ago | (#47631983)

Or it is alarmism.

That appears to come as standard with environmentalism.

Could threaten zooplankton doesn't mean it will or is likely to.

It also dosn't rule out the possibility of some benefit either.

Take every news story with some skepticism.

That is unlikely to be PC.

Re: slowly (1)

morcego (260031) | about a month ago | (#47632025)

I do take it with skepticism. I can also do basic math.
Unless something changes, things tend to continue moving on the same direction. If the amount of paint residue on the oceans is increasing steadily, it will continue to increase (again, if nothing changes).
So yeah, there is cause for worry, maybe even alarm. Panic? No. Panic will be when we start seeing large scale effects of this.

Re: slowly (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a month ago | (#47632171)

Skepticism is the break of progress.

Every one pointing out something is an 'alarmist' (I guess that is a swear word now in the US? Or a kind of defamation? Are you surprised that other languages/societies does not even have a word for that? There e.g. is no german word for "alarmist". If someone is pointing out something we think about it. We do not just say: 'oh, an alarmist'.

Could threaten zooplankton doesn't mean it will or is likely to. Take every news story with some skepticism.
It exactly means what is written there: take precaution and consider to stop pollution long long long before you are certain it is a thread.
WTF: smoking is dangerous ... no need to smoke 10.000 packages to realize: Oh, I feel unhealthy.
That was known when you smoked the first cigarette, not even talking about the package.

Re: slowly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632465)

There e.g. is no german word for "alarmist". If someone is pointing out something we think about it. We do not just say: 'oh, an alarmist'.

The temptation to Godwin this thread is almost overwhelming.

Re: slowly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632223)

>Could threaten zooplankton doesn't mean it will or is likely to.

I have to ask: do you just do random things in your life, rationalizing that it's okay just because the consequences are most likely not going to kill you once they become known? In my book, that's called playing Russian Roulette.

Re:slowly (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47631973)

1. Dose makes the poison.
2. Cleaning up is possible.
3. "Warned us enough" makes it sound like there's some level of "sufficient" warning for "us". Who are we? What defines its sufficiency?

Re:slowly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632217)

You've got to be kidding me. This is brilliant. Raise the reflectivity of the water and decrease global warming. Woohoo! Paint the oceans! Make them shiny!

Re:slowly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47633105)

I am sure 97% of someone agrees.....

Diabeetus... (-1, Offtopic)

VTBlue (600055) | about a month ago | (#47631639)

Pretty soon there'll be a startling discovery of whale cancer and dolphin 'diabeetus'

Great Pacific Garbage Patch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631651)

Do you remember your amazement when hearing about the pacific garbage patch? And then how you felt when you actually looked it up?

Yawn heard 'round the GOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632379)

Every republican / right leaning human in the world looked at those pictures and said, "Well, thank God it's not in my back yard, or near my vacation house. Oops - better go check the baby seal steaks on the grill - don't want to burn them!"

Sherwin-Williams Conspiracy (5, Funny)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about a month ago | (#47631659)

This makes Sherwin-Williams and their "Cover the Earth" logo look a lot less like a paint seller/manufacturer and a lot more like some kind of Bond villain.

Least green logo ever (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a month ago | (#47631781)

Driving by a S-W a few months ago I wondered if that was the least "green" logo in use today, perhaps ever.

Nominations, anyone?

Re:Least green logo ever (4, Funny)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about a month ago | (#47632011)

Well, I noticed Halliburton doesn't have a corporate logo, so I started drawing them one that might be less green. The logo is Dick Cheney in a Hummer H-2 running over small woodland creatures while dumping unused barrels of Agent Orange out of the Hummer's trunk and lighting the rainforest on fire with a flamethrower.

Now if only I had any actual artistic talent and this didn't look like a giant blob of orange highlighter.

Re:Least green logo ever (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a month ago | (#47632461)

The logo is Dick Cheney in a Hummer H-2 running over small woodland creatures while dumping unused barrels of Agent Orange out of the Hummer's trunk and lighting the rainforest on fire with a flamethrower.

That is so fucking totally unfair. Agent Orange is a Monsanto product.

Re:Least green logo ever (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a month ago | (#47632565)

Blackwater has a bad rep, but their logos don't look too bad [wikipedia.org] . Since I've had a lot of plumbing issues recently, I think of Blackwater in the plumbing sense - sewage.

Re:Sherwin-Williams Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631869)

Damn it! You beat me to it!

Re:Sherwin-Williams Conspiracy (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a month ago | (#47632505)

Thank you, man. Literally busted out laughing when I read that.

Re:Sherwin-Williams Conspiracy (2)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a month ago | (#47632537)

Literally busted out laughing...

I'm just gonna leave this here [salon.com]

Some sort of protective coating... (3, Funny)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47631669)

Maybe there's some sort of protective coating that we could put on the ocean surface to prevent this from happening...

Re:Some sort of protective coating... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631725)

Perhaps oil?

rap it! (2)

AndyKron (937105) | about a month ago | (#47631713)

It wouldn't be a threat to zoo-plankton if there weren't so fucking many people who need so fucking many boats.

Re:rap it! (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a month ago | (#47632575)

People who need boats made of artificial fiberglass or have to paint them, you mean. Native tribes and colonial explorers used wooden ships and had more naturally derived products in the sealing.

Holy shit (-1, Troll)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about a month ago | (#47631747)

Oh fuck, not tiny flecks of paint! We're DOOMED I TELL YOU.

Yes (3, Insightful)

tomxor (2379126) | about a month ago | (#47631823)

If your food ends up with components of the paint in it that turn out to be mildly carcinogenic... there's this thing called the food chain.

There is also a problem with plastics entering the food chain in a similar way.

Re:Holy shit (4, Insightful)

dywolf (2673597) | about a month ago | (#47632023)

remember how kids eating chips of lead based paint ended up with physiological damage because of the chemials dissolving and entering their tissues?

same concept.
just smaller chips.
and a much larger affected biomass.

Re:Holy shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632831)

remember how kids eating chips of lead based paint ended up with physiological damage

Corellation, causation, etc, etc. Perhaps people who eat paint chips do so due to pre-existing physiological damage.

Re:Holy shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47633115)

Already figured out and no. When Lead was legislated out of paint, the resulting damage lessened greatly.

Kids gonna kid, and still eat paint chips.

Perpetrator Identified (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631759)

Take a gander at the Sherwin-Williams logo: https://www.google.com/search?q=sherwin-williams+logo

Hint for the lazy: slogan reads "Cover the Earth (in paint)"

Math (3, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47631779)

On average, a liter of water from the microlayer contained 195 particles—this concentration is 10 to 100 times higher than microplastic particles in water collected by other methods.

One litre of water is 1,000,000 cubic millimetres. Given a depth of 1 mm that would cover 1 square meter. So therefore 195 particles per square meter. They don't go into how big these particles are. The issue is that these particle float and therefore would be concentrated in the upper 1 millimetre of water. They have not shown it is a problem.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631859)

1 litre == 1000 "milli-liters"

Re:Math (3, Informative)

HaeMaker (221642) | about a month ago | (#47631975)

1 litre == 1,000,000 CUBIC MILLIMETRES. Just as jklovanc said.

Re:Math (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47632353)

1 "milli-liters" = 1 cubic centimetre (cc) = 1000 cubic millimetres

Re: Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47631957)

The problem really is one of metrics. The finer one can measure something, the more one can carry ob about it. The 'arsenic in our drinkibg water' hysteria tha was spun up (surprise, surprise) shortly after Dubya became president is an example.

"We can measure this. And use it as an issue."

Re:Math (0)

Talderas (1212466) | about a month ago | (#47632121)

The homeopaths would leave you to believe that this is a MAJOR issue and the ENTIRE PUBLIC'S HEALTH and SAFETY is at RISK.

Re:Math (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about a month ago | (#47632283)

The homeopaths would lead you to believe that this is roughly 10^98 times too concentrated to work. Oh, and that it would make you immune to paint.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632315)

Zomg! We'd better make it a stronger concentration immediately! If you remove some, thus diluting it, the homeopathic effect will be even worse!!

Maybe they think it's making the tiny planktons immune to paint!

Re:Math (2)

killkillkill (884238) | about a month ago | (#47632195)

So... 195,000,000 particles per square kilometer in our 361 million square kilometers of ocean. That is over 70 quadrillion paint particles polluting our oceans. We are all clearly doomed!

Re:Math (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about a month ago | (#47632221)

Yet, we should measure this every year to see if the number is increasing.

Re:Math (1)

CaptainLard (1902452) | about a month ago | (#47632439)

They have not shown it is a problem.

Perhaps not but its certainly worth following up on a previously unknown phenomenon that may or may not affect the global food supply. Your math showing an apparently small concentration doesn't take into account the biology of any creature living in the ocean. You haven't shown there isn't a problem.

Re:Math (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month ago | (#47633049)

You haven't shown there isn't a problem.

Proving a negative is almost impossible. For example, prove that you are not a serial killer.

Obvious solution (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | about a month ago | (#47631789)

Fish from helicopters. There, problem solved.

Why would there be fish in helicopters? (1)

tomxor (2379126) | about a month ago | (#47631855)

Also it doesn't seem like a long term solution. These helicopters would need to be carefully and sustainably fished.

Re:Why would there be fish in helicopters? (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | about a month ago | (#47633317)

Not the free range ones, they breed like bunnies!

Looking at the positive side of this (3, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | about a month ago | (#47631833)

Presumably, this paint and fibreglass has higher reflectivity, thus reducing climate change?

Re:Looking at the positive side of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632295)

Potentially less heat transferred to the water which could potentially yield less ocean water evaporation which potentially could lead to less naturally occurring potable water?

Re:Looking at the positive side of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632953)

Presumably, this paint and fibreglass has higher reflectivity, thus reducing climate change?

I don't know. They didn't say what color the paint was.

Re:Looking at the positive side of this (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | about a month ago | (#47633269)

Only the horribly racist, oppressive, and imperialist white paint.

Not even a part per billion. (0)

Himmy32 (650060) | about a month ago | (#47631923)

~200 particles vs ~3*10^25 molecules of water in liter seems pretty small. Especially since these plastics aren't very reactive. Seems pretty small scale of a problem.

Re:Not even a part per billion. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47632159)

Not once the media gets hold of it. Prepare for sensationalism acceleration.

Re:Not even a part per billion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47634387)

Your maths calculation is wrong and misleading.

Your mistake was to treat the particles as atoms, or molecules. But they aren't. The particles themselves are probably ug or mg of material, which would contain at least 10^10 molecules themselves.

If you look for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632109)

If you look for it you will find it. These stories of people who purposely search out the most bizarre always claim to be correct. I believe these narrow minded, sanctomonious liars are a dime a dozen and /. is their haven.

Fiberglass Dust (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632127)

that stuff is the Worst.
I work in a big German Yacht building business, so i've got some experience with that stuff.
Avoid that shit at all costs. If you get in on your skin it will itch and sting you.
If you try to wash it of you might have some temporary relief, but put some clothes on or lay down in your bed and it will sting terribly.
If you're new to the stuff, it sometimes will last for more than a day.
I know people who got so used to it, the sometimes don't even wear the safety overals. These guys are seriously hardcore.
I myself, always wear all the protection i can.
Add to that the health hazzards of Epoxy Resin ,Resin , Topcoat, Gelcoat and other stuff and you've got yourself a great workplace. yehaw

Just Avoid it. Seriously.

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632463)

The world is a filthy place, indeed. I never thought of it before, but how many shoes have you worn thin in your life? A lot, I bet. Well, all that rubber you leave behind on roads and sidewalks gets washed into the ecosystem when it rains. Oh, and let's not forget about tire rubber! That stuff is everywhere!

Not only that, but clothing leaves bits of plastic all over your house and human skin cells float in the atmosphere and get inhaled when you breathe.

It's a dirty, dirty world.

Sherwin Williams Has it Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47632659)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/34/Sherwin_Williams.svg/150px-Sherwin_Williams.svg.png

You think that's bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47633947)

If you think that's bad think about all the rubber particles in our environment from tires wearing down from use on roads. They all get washed into our water ways. I think if you pick any highly used substance you could do some research and find it in the ocean in abundance, especially if it floats.

Will sunlight break down the chemicals? (1)

Marrow (195242) | about a month ago | (#47634139)

The upper millimeter of the ocean is a very sunny place to be.

another record (0)

Mr_Nitro (1174707) | about a month ago | (#47634153)

Thanks capitalism, infinite growth in a closed system ideas.... and all the 'screw this planet we going to enjoy endless singing in the rings of heaven when we die anyways' bandwagon... we are in a damn closed system, we should start to LIMIT things... think 10 times over before we embrace some crazy 'lets move 1 billions containers full of replicable goods trough the globe because we can'.... (and because the 1% just get wealthier ).... fuck all this.... we are playing Russian roulette with our heads everyday.... .. fucking sad human race...
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