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Oceanography/Do marine animals absorb fine plastic particles?


I very much appreciate you time.

I am an artist using artist acrylic paints. I do not not dispose of brush rinse water, but let the rinse water evaporate, leaving a lump of plastic to dispose of through solid waste management.

My question:
If acrylic paint rinse water is poured down the drain, do the fine particles of acrylic end up in the ocean, and then are the particles absorbed by marine life?

Quite honestly, this is not my field of specialization but I think i would be safe to say:

1. the amount of acrylic entering the ocean because of artists cleaning brushes is like the proverbial drop of water in lake Michigan - insignificant

2. the research on absorption or ingestion and/or harmful effects of such on the huge diversity of marine life just is not there - no one can give you a meaningful answer on this.

I truly respect the fact that you are one of the few who is concerned enough about your personal impacts on marine life to care.  However, the threats are so huge and severe from other things like climate change, industrial pollution, cruise ship waste, overfishing and habitat destruction that the only meaningful relief would have to come through international agreements and government regulation at the largest of scales. And that is not happening.  Just to take one example in my neck of the woods, consider this headline from this week's Miami herald:

"In Florida, officials ban term 'climate change "

I think you can appreciate where the interests of developers and commercial interests stand in relation the concerns of conservationists.  The war has been lost.



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