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Daily Archives: 25. January 2009 − News & Stories


Good news abour envi­ron­men­tal toxins

Long-lived envi­ron­men­tal toxins such as PCBs, insect repell­ents and fire­pro­of mate­ri­als con­tai­ning bro­mi­ne are enri­ched in the arc­tic food chain and pro­vi­de a serious enri­von­men­tal thre­at to spe­ci­es on high tro­phic levels such as Ivo­ry gulls, Glau­cous gulls and Polar bears.

From 1995 to 2004, con­cen­tra­ti­ons of such sub­s­tances have drop­ped by 50 to 80 % in tis­sue of Rin­ged seals in Spits­ber­gen. Rin­ged seals are an important food source for Polar bears and com­mon­ly used for human con­sump­ti­on in Green­land and arc­tic Cana­da.

The decrease shows cle­ar­ly that legal mea­su­res in count­ries that are major pro­du­cers can pro­vi­de signi­fi­cant impro­ve­ments. Future chal­lenges con­sist in inclu­ding new­ly deve­lo­ped, but simi­lar sub­s­tances in the legal frame­work and in intro­du­cing such laws world­wi­de. Most wes­tern count­ries have adopted simi­lar laws and signed inter­na­tio­nal agree­ments (“Stock­holm-con­ven­ti­on”), but some important count­ries are still miss­ing, such as the USA.

Polar bear and Ivo­ry gull at lunch.
Unde­si­reable addi­ti­ves are likely to be pre­sent.

Good news abour environmental toxins

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