Pacific Northwest
A clam digger hauls a load of razor clams at Fort Stevens State Park, in Clatsop County. Researchers at Portland State University recently found that the vast majority of razor clams and oysters collected on the Oregon coast contain microplastic fibers

PSU study finds microplastics in majority of razor clams and oysters collected on Oregon coast

The synthetic fibers that make up much of our modern clothing are making their way into the stomachs of the animals we eat, according to a new study from researchers at Portland State University.

The vast majority of razor clams and oysters that were collected along the Oregon coast tested positive for microplastics, the researchers found. The results of the study, conducted by Britta Baechler, a student in the university’s Earth, Environment and Society program, and Elise Granek, a professor of environmental science and management, were published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters.

The shellfish in question were plucked from 15 sites, from Clatsop in the north to Gold Beach near the California border, in both the spring and summer of 2017. Of the roughly 300 shellfish analyzed, all but two contained at least some microplastics, Granek said in a statement.

"Whether it was a fairly urban site or a rural site, estuary or open-coast beach, both species had microplastics," she said. "Although we think of the Oregon coast as a much more pristine coastline compared to California, Puget Sound or the Eastern Seaboard, when we are talking about microplastics, we're still seeing that human footprint on even our more pristine coastline."

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