A new study examined sea, rock, and lake salt sold around the world and found microplastics in 90% of the table salt. Namely, out of 39 salt brands tested, 36 included microplastics.
Researchers in South Korea and Greenpeace East Asia conducted the study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, used previous salt studies, to look at the spread of microplastics in table salt and how they correlate with where plastic pollution is found in the environment.
They found that human ingestion of microplastics through marine products is strongly related to emissions in a given region, Seung-Kyu Kim, a marine science professor at Incheon National University in South Korea, mentioned.
Specifically, salt samples from 21 countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia analyzed and only the three brands that did not include microplastics are from Taiwan, China, and France.
The microplastics varied greatly among different brands, but Asian brands had especially high microplastics. In fact, the highest number of microplastics were found in Indonesia.
Asia is ranked as the second-worst level of plastic pollution in the world, as an 2015 study found.
Finally, microplastics were the highest in sea salt, and then in lake salt and rock salt.