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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

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange