Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘toxic chemicals.’

FIRE-EARTH Presentation: You Call this Marine Life?

Posted by feww on May 3, 2017

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PCB contamination: UK killer whale Lulu had 20 times the expected level of PCB

[Prepared by FIRE-EARTH Science Team.]

  • Report available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

Background:

Lulu the killer whale was found dead on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland in 2016 after becoming entangled in fishing lines.

Tests have since revealed that her body contained 20 times the expected level of banned chemicals polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

“The threshold where we think that there is some form of physiological effect caused by PCBs is around 20-40mg/kg stored within the tissues,” said Dr. Andrew Brownlow, head of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme and veterinary pathologist at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

“Lulu had a level of PCBs of 957mg/kg – and this has put her as one of the most contaminated individuals we have ever looked at.”

The “shocking level” of toxic chemicals “puts her as one of the most contaminated animals on the planet in terms of PCB burden, and does raise serious questions for the long-term survivability of this group [of only eight remaining UK killer whales.]”

 

 

 

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Toxic Chemicals in European Waters Threaten Extinction of Orcas

Posted by feww on January 15, 2016

Killer whales blubber contained “highest concentrations of PCBs on the planet” —Report

Cetaceans are facing the threat of extinction in European waters due to persistent toxic chemicals banned as far back as the 1980s, according to research led by international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The research, based on long-term studies of more than 1,000 stranded or biopsied whales, dolphins and porpoises – collectively known as cetaceans – found that the blubber of killer whales (Orcinus orca), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) in Europe contain among the highest concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the planet.

“The long life expectancy and position as apex or top marine predators make species like killer whales and bottlenose dolphins particularly vulnerable to the accumulation of PCBs through marine food webs. Our findings show that, despite the ban and initial decline in environmental contamination, PCBs still persist at dangerously high levels in European cetaceans,” said Dr Paul Jepson, lead author and specialist wildlife veterinarian at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.

“Few coastal orca populations remain in western European waters. Those that do persist are very small and suffering low or zero rates of reproduction. The risk of extinction therefore appears high for these discrete and highly contaminated populations. Without further measures, these chemicals will continue to suppress populations of orcas and other dolphin species…”

 

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The Deadly Dozen, the Dirty Dozen, the Dozen Dozen

Posted by feww on May 5, 2009

UNEP wants to add to its so-called “dirty dozen” deadly chemicals another nine highly toxic compounds

Thanks to the ‘experts,’ the chemical threats to our living environment have been ‘rationalized,’ the danger downsized, and the list of “chemicals considered potentially dangerous,” which are overtly used in industrial farming and other commercial applications, neatly itemized, first into a [dirty] dozen and then some…

Experts mull global ban on commercial chemicals

Mon May 4, 2009
By Robert Evans

GENEVA (Reuters) – Experts and officials from some 150 countries started talks on Monday on banning production of nine chemicals considered potentially dangerous but still used in farming and for other commercial purposes.

If agreement is reached at the week-long meeting, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the nine will join a list of 12 other so-called persistent organic pollutants, or POPS, long targeted for elimination.

“The risks posed by such chemicals are profound, and these toxic substances leave chemical footprints around the globe,” said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner, who will be watching over the Geneva gathering.

The newly-targeted chemicals include products—known normally under their scientific names—that are widely used for pesticides and are also used in the manufacture of flame retardants and similar items.

The original 12 POPS—dubbed the “dirty dozen” and widely blamed for damaging human nervous systems, causing cancer and disrupting the development of young children—were listed under a 2001 international pact called the Stockholm Convention.

But as these have been removed from production lines, focus has switched to extending the banned list to other highly toxic chemicals that take many years, often decades, to degrade into less dangerous forms.

SPECIAL RISKS

Among the new ones to be considered this week are Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, Hexabromidyphenyl ether, Chlordecone, Hexabromobiphenyl, Lindane, Pentachlorobenzene and Perfluorooctane, according to UNEP.

UNEP says these, like the “dirty dozen,” pose special risks to young people, farmers, pregnant women and the unborn, and to remote communities like those in the Arctic where Inuit women and polar bears have been found to have large POP doses in their own bodies.

The pollutant chemicals can evaporate and travel long distances through air and water to regions far from their original source and accumulate in the fatty tissues of both humans and animals.

A thaw in the Arctic linked to global warming may allow some of the chemicals, long-trapped under sea ice, to evaporate into the atmosphere and spread further around the polar region, an expert said on Monday.

Agreement at the Geneva meeting, which ends on May 8, could mark a major step toward creating a healthier and more sustainable green economy for the world, said Steiner, while lifting a health threat to millions of people.
(Editing by Jon Hemming)
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Posted in Arctic thaw, breast milk, Climate Change, melting sea ice, polar region | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You Allowed to Live Free of Toxic Pollution?

Posted by feww on July 25, 2008

The Right to Live Free of Toxic Pollution Must Be Made A Fundamental Human Right!

Of nearly 90,000 chemical compounds in use, the majority of which have never been tested for health effects, only a fraction are registered and of those only a handful have been banned by EPA in the last thirty years. Meanwhile, about 2,000 new chemicals are introduced each year.

See Main Entry: The Right to Live Free of Toxic Pollution

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