Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016: Discussion (Resumed)
Dr. Róisín Nash:
I will answer Deputy Barry's question on the impact of bioaccumulation because I do not want anyone to leave this meeting having decided not to eat fish. Humans can pass microplastics so we are fine. When one buys fish, it is gutted and that is where all the microplastics are contained so they are quite safe to eat. There are other issues around nanoplastics which are a whole other area.
On bioaccumulation, we can see that sea birds have died but that it mainly as a result of macroplastics, which they cannot pass. We are specifically not looking at nanoplastics, which refers to chemicals being absorbed, but it does bioaccumulate and go up the food chain with fish eating insects, but when the guts are removed they are quite safe for us to eat.