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Posts Tagged ‘PFOs’

Whale Meat ‘n Blubber Tastier With PFCs

Posted by feww on July 25, 2008

Bon Appétit!

Danish researchers have discovered that people in Faroe Islands [situated between Norway and Iceland] in the North Atlantic who eat whale meat have high levels of polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in their blood. They are particularly worried that the pollutant has spread globally.

“This pollution is a new health concern for the Faroese and many populations worldwide,” said an environmental health researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark.


Traditional Faroese food 1: Dried mutton and whale meat and blubber (Source: Wikipedia)


Traditional Faroese food 2: pilot whale meat (black) and blubber (middle) and dried fish (left) and potatoes, a typical meal on the Faroe Islands. (Source: Wikipedia). For licensing details click here.

“We know very little on the toxicity in humans so far, even less in regard to whales,” he told reporters, referring to PFCs, which are used as water or grease repellents for textiles, papers and fire-extinguishing foams.

In case of PFOs, a variant PFCs, “a single dinner with whale meat every two weeks is associated with an increase of 25 percent in the blood concentration,” he said.

Whaling in the Faeroe Islands. Atlantic White-sided Dolphins, on a concrete-floored dock at a small port of Hvalba, Faeroe Islands. Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. Photo: Erik Christensen; via Wikimedia Commons.

Larger marine animals including pilot whales, caught around Faroe Islands, are at the top of the marine food chain because they consume smaller fish and other marine creatures that dewll on the ocean floor and are rich in PFCs and other chemical pollutants that end up in the oceans. A diet of marine creatures leads to the build up of PFCs [and other toxics,] especially in the whales blubber and liver and pose a serious threat to people who eat them.


In accordance with the [ tradition,] men gather on the shore to kill the whales [as women and children look on,] here in the town Vágur [on the Faroe Island of Suðuroy, Denmark] June 28, 2004. Photo: Erik Christensen, Porkeri; via Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Previously, PFC contamination was associated with long term exposure to textiles or furniture containing PFCs. “Now we are seeing evidence that they are widespread in the environment and building up,” Grandjean said.


“The sea turns blood red.” Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. Photo: Erik Christensen; via Wikimedia Commons.

“The study, issued online, would be in August edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. A separate study had also shown high levels of PFOS in polar bear livers.” Reuters reported.

“A report by the European Food Safety Authority this week said that some PFCs have produced tumors in rats but do not seem to cause cancers in humans. It said more data was needed. One study has linked PFCs to lower human birth weights.”

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