We’re guinea pigs in global microplastic experiment
One of the main problems with plastics is that although we may only need them fleetingly – seconds in the case of microbeads in personal care products, or minutes as in plastic grocery bags – they stick around for hundreds of years. We’ve all seen the gruesome images of a sea turtle killed by a plastic bag, or the array of bottle caps, toothbrush fragments, and other plastic items found in the stomach of an albatross carcass. Much of the hundreds of millions of tons of plastic waste in our oceans is made up of microplastics. I’m an environmental epidemiologist with a research group that studies exposure to chemicals commonly found in consumer products, including plastics, and how they affect human reproduction and development. There are plastics and then the chemicals that are added to them.
There are numerous types of commonly used plastics with differing structures, properties, and chemical additives to make them stronger, more flexible, more rigid, more resilient to UV, or to prevent microbial growth or the spread of fire. Over the past couple of decades concern has grown over the potential danger to human health posed by unavoidable exposures to plastic additives. Certain chemicals – phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants – added to plastics to provide beneficial qualities may in turn disrupt hormones or other important functions following exposure. To date, most of the concerns for human health has focused on these additives in the plastics but not the plastics themselves. These factors include size, shape, type of plastic, surface properties, biopersistence, and the presence of chemical additives or other toxic agents the microplastics may have picked up the environment.
We can also reduce single-use plastics, introduce effective recycling programs on a global scale, and implement policies at the national level, like phasing out microbeads or banning certain additives, or locally at the city, county, or state level. There is no question that synthetic plastics have made our lives safer and more convenient over the past half-century or so – keeping foods fresh, providing crucial parts for cars and aircraft, preventing electronics from starting or spreading fires, contributing to medical treatment and care, and helping deliver clean water to parts of the world that would not otherwise have access.
Guinea Pig Care Guide Oxbow has provided this basic care guide to help you keep your pet guinea pig healthy and happy. Read below to learn what to feed your guinea pig, as well as other important facts that will make you a confident pet owner. Feeding Your Guinea Pig Your guinea pig is a herbivore, which means he eats only plant material. Your guinea pig must have the right mix of hay, pellets, and treats to avoid health problems. Hay Fortified Food Treats and Veggies Grass hay is absolutely vital to the digestive health of your guinea pig.
A high-fiber pellet made from hay and fortified with stabilized vitamin C, such as Oxbow Essentials Adult Guinea Pig Food or Essentials Young Guinea Pig Food is best for your guinea pig. Offer all-natural treats only after your guinea pig eats basic foods. Guinea Pigs less than 6 months old can be fed alfalfa hay in addition to grass hay. Oxbow designed Adult Guinea Pig Food specifically for guinea pigs over 6 months and Young Guinea Pig Food specifically for guinea pigs under 6 months. Housing Your Guinea Pig Make sure you have these supplies for your guinea pig: Fortified age-specific food: Oxbow Essentials Young Guinea Pig Oxbow Essentials Adult Guinea Pig Two or more varieties of Oxbow’s farm-fresh hay Oxbow’s Daily C stabilized vitamin C supplement Oxbow treats for healthy bonding and enrichment Water bottle and heavy water dish Heavy food bowl Large cage with solid flooring Hay habitat such as Oxbow’s Timothy Club Bungalow or Tunnel Guinea pig-safe toys Oxbow’s Eco-Straw™ litter Your guinea pig needs a well-ventilated cage with plenty of room to jump, play, rest, eat and explore.
Your Guinea Pig’s Health Many guinea pig health problems are a result of nutrition and digestive issues, dental issues or obesity. Contact your veterinarian if you notice the following symptoms: l Loose or soft stools l Sneezing or trouble breathing l Hunched in corner l Blood in the urine l Small, dry or infrequent stools l Overgrown front teeth l Bald patches in the fur l Sores on the feet l Abnormal eating or drinking A lack of vitamin C is the most common nutritional deficiency in guinea pigs.
Occupational Health & Safety: Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are docile rodents that rarely, if ever, inflict injuries. There are no significant zoonotic diseases associated with guinea pigs. The major disease potential of guinea pigs is allergy. Many individuals working with guinea pigs develop serious symptoms related to allergic responses. RECOMMENDED PREVENTIVE MEASURES.
Whenever possible, assign work involving direct animal contact to personnel without pre-existing allergies or respiratory conditions;. Dust masks, gloves and long sleeved apparel should be worn at all times when working with guinea pigs; whenever there is a risk of aerosol transmission of an infectious agent, approved respirator masks should be worn instead of dust masks;. When seeking medical advice for any illness, inform your physician that you work with guinea pigs. Perform procedures in a laminar flow hood whenever possible;. Keep transport carriers out of labs/offices/public areas;.
ALLERGIES. Allergies to guinea pigs are common. Exposure to guinea pigs has frequently been associated with occupational asthma. Guinea pig urine appears to be the major source of allergen.