This disease can make birds more vulnerable to infections and parasites.
Specialists at the Natural History Museum in London reported the first cases of plasticosis among wild animals. The study is published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
Plasticosis is a new disease in which the digestive tract of birds becomes inflamed due to the ingestion of plastic. Over time, the inflammation causes scarring and tissue deformation, which affects the digestion, growth and survival of birds. According to scientists, recently this problem has been observed more and more often, moreover, in birds of different ages.
In the name of the disease, the researchers emphasized plastic, since, unlike it, naturally occurring materials found in the stomachs of birds, such as pumice, do not cause such problems.
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To understand exactly how plastic affects birds, the researchers studied pale-footed petrels from Australia’s Lord Howe Island. In particular, scientists paid attention to the glandular stomach of animals.
It turned out that the more plastic a bird swallows, the more it forms scars. This can lead to the gradual destruction of the tubular glands and make the birds more vulnerable to infections and parasites. In addition, it affects the birds’ ability to digest food and absorb certain vitamins.