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Climate Change & The Environment Discuss Global Pollution at the General Discussion; Pollution is everywhere, including the deepest parts of the oceans... Toxic, Man-made Pollutants Found in Deepest Oceans February 13, 2017 ...

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Old 02-14-2017, 03:39 AM
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Pollution is everywhere, including the deepest parts of the oceans...

Toxic, Man-made Pollutants Found in Deepest Oceans
February 13, 2017 - No place is safe from pollution, including the deepest parts of the oceans.
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Writing in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, researchers from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom say small creatures called amphipods that live in the Mariana and Kermadec trenches, both of which are more than 10 kilometers deep, have “extremely high levels” of man-made toxic chemicals in their fatty tissues. The chemicals, called Persistent Organic Pollutants, include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PCBs were produced from the 1930s through the 1970s when they were outlawed. But researchers estimate 1.3 million tonnes of PCBs were produced worldwide.


Hirondellea gigas are voracious scavengers that consume anything that comes down from the surface.

They entered the environment through “industrial accidents and discharges and leakage from landfills.” Furthermore, they are “invulnerable to natural degradation” so can last for decades. “We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth, said lead researcher, Alan Jamieson. “In fact, the amphipods we sampled contained levels of contamination similar to that found in Japan's Suruga Bay, one of the most polluted industrial zones of the northwest Pacific.” To reach their conclusions, researchers used deep-sea landers to bring organism samples up from the trenches, which are 7,000 kilometers apart.

The pollutants, according to Jamieson, likely sank to the bottom of the ocean through contaminated plastic garbage as well as dead animals that drifted to the bottom and were eaten by the amphipods. Amphipods with toxic chemicals are then eaten by bigger organisms as the pollutants make their way back into the food chain. “The fact that we found such extraordinary levels of these pollutants in one of the most remote and inaccessible habitats on earth really brings home the long term, devastating impact that mankind is having on the planet,” said Dr Jamieson. “It’s not a great legacy that we’re leaving behind.”

Toxic, Man-made Pollutants Found in Deepest Oceans
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:17 PM
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Report says air pollution in India surpassing China
Wed, Feb 15, 2017 - India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution showed.
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The number of premature deaths in China caused by dangerous air particles, known as PM2.5, has stabilized globally in recent years, but has risen sharply in India, according to the report, issued yesterday by the Health Effects Institute — a Boston-based research institute focused on the health effects of air pollution — and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, a population health research center in Seattle.

India has registered an alarming increase of nearly 50 percent in premature deaths from particulate matter between 1990 and 2015, the report said. “You can almost think of this as the perfect storm for India,” said Michael Brauer, a professor of environment and health relationships at the University of British Columbia and an author of the study, in a telephone interview. Brauer cited the confluence of rapid industrialization, population growth and an aging populace in India that is more susceptible to air pollution.

Pollution levels are worsening in India as it tries to industrialize, but “the idea that policymaking should be led by government is lacking,” said Bhargav Krishna, manager for environmental health at the Public Health Foundation of India, a health policy research center in New Delhi. As air pollution worsened in parts of the world, including South Asia, it improved in the US and Europe, the report said, crediting policies to curb emissions, among other things.

Environmental regulations in the US and action by the European Commission have led to substantial progress in reducing fine particulate pollution since 1990, the report said. The US has experienced a reduction of about 27 percent in the average annual exposure to fine particulate matter, with smaller declines in Europe. However, about 88,000 people in the US and 258,000 in Europe still face increased risks of premature death because of particulate levels, the report said.

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