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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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