Far-Travelling Toxins


Sperm and bottlenose whales

Very High Toxin Concentrations found in Arctic Whales

The link  below is  an article sent by a colleague on the surprisingly high levels of toxins, found in arctic whales.   Concentrations of toxic heavy metals like cadmium and chromium, were orders of magnitude higher than the danger levels for human fish consumption.  At every step in the food chain,  a persistent metal toxin (slowly- or non- biodegradable) bio-magnifies (tissue concentration becomes higher).  Metals in road runoff that reach the ocean biomagnify in seafood.  Abroad in many countries, DDT, which persists indefinitely, like metals, is also still used.  Persistent toxins are also transported thousands of miles though the oceans, in currents- potentially the gulf stream-   and by wind-driven surface flows, and  also by migrating fish and whales.  (This is similar to the insecticide bio-accumulation problem  mentioned in my recent zigzag dogwalking post.)

Oil Toxins will not be contained in the Gulf

The take home message: not just the Gulf of Mexico and its  coastal marshes  are threatened by the Gulf Oil Spill, and that threat is not just in the distant future.


About sigrungadwa

I am a consulting ecologist , professional wetland scientist, and registered soil scientist, based in Cheshire, Connecticut. I hold an MS from UConn Storrs in Ecology. My business, Carya Ecological Services, LLC, specializes in applying ecological principals and knowledge of native botany to a wide range of client projects.
This entry was posted in food chain, oil spill, PAH, Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Far-Travelling Toxins

  1. Anne Gadwa says:

    Your post reminds me that so many “green” products are sold/marketed as luxury items–buying wood without formaldehyde for my DIY ergonomically correct desk, for instance, was much more expensive than the standard compressed plywood from a lumber yard. I ended up going with the poisonous version. We need to do more to promote low-budget green alternatives, like shade trees and laundry lines vs. driers.

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