The level of chemical pollution in the world is so high today that it “is not consistent with staying within a safe operating space for humanity,” a group of scientists behind a new study have warned. “There has been a fiftyfold increase in the production of chemicals since 1950 and this is projected to triple again by 2050,” Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez, a research assistant at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), was quoted as saying by The Guardian. The production of plastics, thousands of synthetic chemicals, and industrial compounds has created pollution that goes beyond what the study called a “planetary boundary,” meaning global ecosystems on which humanity depends are on the brink of destruction. “There’s evidence that things are pointing in the wrong direction every step of the way,” said Prof. Bethanie Carney Almroth at the University of Gothenburg, who also took part in the study. She noted that “the total mass of plastics now exceeds the total mass of all living mammals.” “That to me is a pretty clear indication that we’ve crossed a boundary,” she said.
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