An international collaboration led by scientists at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) , Japan, has found that hazardous chemicals were detected in plastics eaten by seabirds.

The research findings were published in Marine Pollution Bulletin in May 2019.

The researchers carried out non-target survey of additives in 194 pieces of plastics ingested by seabirds, such as Northern Fulmar and Albatross.

These additives, which are often hazardous chemicals, are generally blended into most plastics in order to make plastics better, for instance to stabilize polymers against UV degradation or oxidation, to simply add colors, and so on.

"We uncovered that 4 kinds of UV stabilizers and 2 brominated flame retardants at detection frequencies of 4.6% and 2.1%, respectively" said Dr. Hideshige Takada, the corresponding author and professor in the Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry of TUAT.

"Our previous researches showed that these additives in plastics are transferred from ingested plastics and unfortunately accumulated in some tissues of seabirds."

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