The Killer Within Us

in cryptogee-musings •  5 months ago

microfiber cu_1000.png

There is a tiny silent killer among us, it surrounds us everyday polluting our water and our food supply, however together we can stop it.

Plastic pollution awareness is growing across the planet today. More and more people are awakening to the global impending man-made disaster and unlike climate change, there is directly observable physical evidence to at once silence any potential naysayers.

In England it is known as the Blue Planet effect, referring to Sir David Attenborough's excellent nature series of the same name.

The latest installation of the program highlights the depressing spread of plastics throughout our oceans, which I am not being dramatic when I say could lead to a catastrophic outcome for the human race.

Not With A Bang, But With A Whimper

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

― Albert Einstein.

It was Robert J. Oppenheimer, the man accredited with being the 'father' of the nuclear bomb who famously said "[...]and now I have become like death, destroyer of worlds."

That utterance has reflected how the human race has viewed its own potential demise. We all know that there are enough nuclear weapons on the planet to bomb us all back into the stone-age.

However so far the countries possessing nuclear weapons know that to fire one in aggression could indeed signal the end of civilisation as we know it. So the term nuclear weapon has been transformed to nuclear deterrent.

With no two countries possessing nuclear arms ever having gone to war, and unlikely to ever do so, the threat of a civilisation ending war whilst not entirely gone, is unlikely to say the least.

Homo Deus The Great Changer

Even if you believe in a divine creator who created the heavens and the earth, it is hard to ignore the changes that the human race are wreaking on our beautiful planet.

It is estimated that there is now a floating island of plastic in the Pacific ocean somewhere between the size of Texas and Russia (700,000 square kilometres-1,600,000 square kilometres). Regardless of the size and density of the Eastern Garbage Patch one thing is for sure, this 'island' of plastic would not be there if it were not for the human race.

So forget the argument about climate change for a second, and concentrate on the evidence in front of your very eyes, man-made environmental change.

However the problem is, it is not just in front of our eyes, it is the invisible killer of plastic microfibers that left unchecked will destroy us all.

The Giver Of Life

Why is the earth the only heavenly body in our solar system to contain complex life?

Answer: Because it is the only planet to contain liquid water on its surface.

So it is not being overly dramatic to say that the sea is the source of our strength, not just the water itself, but the things in it which we and other animals eat. With that being said, it is obvious that we do not want to poison all the marine life in the ocean, because we are essentially poisoning the whole foodchain, of which we are a part of.

It is said that there is a startling amount of plastic inside many types of fish today, with some (like clams) containing much more than others.

These fibres are getting into the water not by the dumping of macro plastics, but by the washing of our clothes.

Each time you wash a man-made garment, whether it be a pair of yoga pants or your favourite fleece, you are releasing between a couple of thousand and a million tiny plastic fibres into the water supply.

These fibres are too small to be caught by water treatment plants so ultimately they end up in our rivers and oceans and then our fish . . . and then of course, us.

Fight Back

Of course we are now fighting back, we are putting pressure on the clothing industry in the same way we put it on the cosmetics industry to abolish microbeads.

Often the individual feels powerless in these situations, we need products and if they are given to us in a certain way, then all we can say is please change this.

However this is one situation whereby we can do something on an individual level.

The Langbrett Guppyfriend washing bag is one such solution. By washing your clothes inside it, you can not only greatly reduce the amount of fibres being shed from your clothing, you can actively stop them getting into the water supply.

As far as I'm aware the Langbrett bag is the first of its kind, but it won't be the last.

If we are to avoid poisoning our oceans, and thus our own bodies then solutions like this are needed.

I personally have just bought one from Amazon for £30 (about $40), it's not cheap (around €20 direct from website), but then again nor is mine or your life.

Sure we want to put pressure on the clothing industry to change the way they make clothes, but let's start doing something today about the ones already out there.

Will you join me in saving the planet?

I hope so.

It's the only one we've got.

Disclaimer: I am not in anyway affiliated with Langbrett or any of its products or subsidiaries, nor will I make any kind of financial gain by promoting the Guppyfriend washbag. To the best of my knowledge Langbrett are providing the only solution of this kind. Though I reserve the right to be wrong about this.

Sources & Further Reading

Why Microfibres Are The New Microbeads

Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Wiki

Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Marine Debris Program

Guppyfriend Washing Bag: Langbrett

Image courtesy of Langbrett



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Thank you for this sensitising post of yours, the more we pollute the environment, the more we kill ourselves. No wonder all the strange sicknesses a diseases all over the world today.

I knew about the macro plastic pollution but had no idea of micro fiber plastics....I am glad that I always prefer 100% cotton cloths....
My country is the among few biggest cloth manufacturers in the It's an area of concern for me...


Yes it is scary, I'm hoping that with enough pressure from consumers over the coming years that the industry will start giving us safer alternatives. Also the washing machine manufacturers need to step up their game.


"Each time you wash a man-made garment, whether it be a pair of yoga pants or your favourite fleece, you are releasing between a couple of thousand and a million tiny plastic fibers into the water supply." I wasn't aware of that but that is a good argument for hemp. I typically only buy cotton stuff because I find that most man made fibers tend to smell weird if I sweat but this is another reason to stay away from that stuff.


Very true, hemp and cotton do not pose as much of a threat because they're biodegradable. Although I'm not sure about how the industry treats these materials, anyway it has to be better than polyester and acrylics.



Truth. It is hard to get around all those terrible things even if we try and it doesn't help that the corporations have figured out that "green" is a buy word. I saw some poison in the garden section of a store that claimed to be environmentally friendly.

I guess we can do our best not to make things way worse but us just being here still dose some damage.


I think the fashion industry is different, as things like this are more visible to the human eye. Whereas things like using one chemical over another is hard for the average consume to determine whether it is safe or not.

Anyway, here's hoping!


Interesting you post this. There was an episode of a fictional tv show a while ago and they were dealing with the plastic floating in the ocean. I thought it was just a plot device. I was indeed surprised to find out a couple of months later that the floating mass of plastic was indeed real. It is scary the amount of stuff we are introducing into the environment. In a similar fashion, I read an article the other day that they have begun to find amount of opiates in mussels off the Pacific coast. The treated wastewater doesn't remove opiates and the ones that humans are expelling are ending up in the ocean life. Pretty scary!


It is scary stuff, but I guess on the flipside, we are at least aware of these dangers and hopefully do something about them before it is too late.



Very true!

Is there some key thing to watch for on labels when buying clothes?
Is there a "worst of" on a list of materials that contribute to this problem?
If I can help, to significantly decrease some of the damage I'm doing, by choosing clothes more intelligently... I will.


Basically anything with polyester or acrylic is a big no-no, which covers A LOT of our clothing. Thankfully there are movements which are going to change things.

The fashion industry are very sensitive to the wants of their customers. Look at ASOS, they are a huge online fashion giant, and they have just agreed to stop selling clothes with mohair, silk and cashmere, purely because of pressure from the animal rights people.

Though I must say, mohair, silk, cotton, along with hemp are much better for the environment... If you can afford it, get the guppyfriend bag, though don't confuse it with just any old wash bag, as a lot of them are made from man-made fibres that will leak out into the water supply.


I knew about the floating plastic, but the other was news to me. Thanks for sharing about it.


Yeah, it's pretty bloody scary, my wash bag just came through from Amazon, I can't put it in the dryer, but it's worth the hassle. It's not a perfect solution, but hopefully we do something about it pretty sharpish.

I think the bottom feeders get it the worst, they reckon 70% of the micro plastics end up down there, so clams, crabs and so-on end up eating loads of the stuff :-(


Great post, and I'm so glad to know about microfibers! I had heard of the tiny microscopic plastics polluting our oceans - so much so that one can't really walk on the beach without absorbing them - but didn't realize that it's our clothing/laundry that is the cause! Potent incentive to purchase natural fibers clothing for sure!


Thanks, it is all about awareness, the more people that know the more pressure we can put on the fashion industry, because there are alternatives :-)


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Pollution is something that we seriously need to desist from. Making the environment unsafe not only affects us but the other organisms as well. I simply believe a whole lot of diseases can be gotten rid of should we practice cleanliness. Thanks for such educative publication. @cryptogee

Ohoo that's really sad news how can your government controll this tiny silent killer.

Plastic pollution is the newest environmental threat, now rapidly destroying our planet.

Sadly, many corporations, individuals and governments are not concerned or bothered.

Thanks for your eyes opening steem.


I think with this one they are, they are finding more and more of these fibres in our food and water supply, together we can beat this!


Great post, and I'm so glad to know about microfibers! I had heard of the tiny microscopic plastics polluting our oceans - so much so that one can't really walk on the beach without absorbing them - but didn't realize that it's our clothing/laundry that is the cause! Potent incentive to purchase natural fibers clothing for sure!

we should protect our environment because environment comes first then technology


flagged because this is a spammer and this post is spam


hey why downvote


the post you're replying to explains exactly why: because you're a spammer and your post is spam

why pretend to be surprised? lol

more people should downvote you.


no one downvoted me i can not understant why you behave like this and call me spammer


Wouldn't that be nice, if you could be a spammer and a nuisance to the community and never get noticed or called out?

I call you a spammer because that's exactly what you are. Stop spamming my blog and I'll be less likely to notice your other spam comments.

We all know that isn't your real picture in the thumbnail lol, that you aren't a sincere user here. You've posted plagiarism on my blog before. So save the sob story, there's no mystery or judgment call about what you are.