Although relatively harmless in their raw state, nurdles can become toxic in the marine environment.
In the sea, nurdles and other plastics attract toxins called Persistent Bioaccumulating Toxins (PBTs) to their surface. Most PBTs are industrial chemicals which can accumulate in animal and human tissue causing long term damage. Plastics act like a sponge for these toxins and can concentrate them to levels millions of times higher than the surrounding sea water.
Most PBTs are highly dangerous banned substances. Although current manufacture has been reduced, these chemicals continue to persist in the marine environment.
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