Blog: Mother Earth Heals
by Liora Leah

Arctic Toxins Down

New study shows that carcinogens and pesticide toxins have been leveling off or declining in the Arctic. Work is still needed to ban toxic pesticides. What YOU can do to reduce toxic chemicals in your home that make their way to the Arctic.

Date:   7/31/2008 8:34:04 PM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 3728 times

Toxic levels falling in the Arctic

Artic Toxic LevelsThe Canadian Press reports the first large-scale attempt in a decade to measure contaminants in Arctic food animals has found carcinogens such as PCBs and other pesticide toxins "have largely leveled off or have begun declining." Survey researcher Laurie Chan of the University of Northern British Columbia says it's good news that "organochlorines, like DDT or chlordane or toxaphene or industrial chemicals like PCB, are declining." Chan called the falling levels proof that "the Stockholm Convention is having some effect." The 2004 convention limited the use of the so-called "dirty dozen" chemicals that are pushed north into the Arctic by global air currents. Canada's Inuit once had some of the highest PCB levels -- up to 10 times the levels found in southern Canada -- and PCB was found in the breast milk of Inuit mothers. A 2003 study found statistically significant nervous system and behavioral changes in Inuit babies that may be linked to PCBs. Since 1997, PCB levels in whales, walruses and ringed seals have fallen by an average of 43 percent while the PCB contamination reaching local people has dropped by an average of 20 percent. Exposure to toxaphene -- an insecticide that damages the lungs, nervous system and kidneys -- has dropped an average of one-third across the Arctic. Unfortunately, the study found that levels of mercury, probably from the world's growing number of coal-fired powerplants, is rising in some animals. Meanwhile, levels of some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like the pesticide endosulfan remain high in the Arctic, underscoring the need for global action to ban POPs pesticides.  (from: Pesticide Action North America:   http://www.panna.org )  

shareMORE - See PANNA magazine "Silent Snow: Arctic Paradox"

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Flame retardant chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyls (PBDE's) found in furniture, clothing, and carpet padding manufactured in the U.S and Europe have been found to accumulate in women's breast milk. They have also found their way to the Arctic, poisoning Indigenous peoples and endangering Arctic polar bears and other wildlife. What you can do to reduce PBDE's and other toxic chemicals in your home and environment:

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