TIME

You wouldn’t eat the tiny plastic fibers that come off your fleece jacket, would you? Research released last week suggests we might be eating the fish that do. This study—the first of its kind—found that Great Lakes fish are swallowing micro-plastic fibers that have found their way into the waste stream from washing machines. And the fish that ingest them include species sought after by Great Lakes anglers, among them: brown trout,cisco—also known as “lake herring”—and perch.

“Every one of the 18 species we sampled showed some plastic and the majority of this was fibers,” explained Sherri Mason, professor of chemistry and environmental sciences program coordinator at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Mason and Laura Kammin, pollution prevention program specialist with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, sampled 17 different southern Lake Michigan fish species for the presence of microplastics. None of the…

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