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Report: Don't kid yourself - toxins persist in the Great Lakes (DDT and PCBs)
M Live.com ^ | December 7, 2005 | Sarah Kellogg

Posted on 12/08/2005 8:51:44 AM PST by GreenFreeper

WASHINGTON -- Toxic chemical concentrations in the Great Lakes remain a threat to humans, animals and fish, and not enough people know of the hazards, a new report concludes.

The draft report was completed by the Scientific Advisory Board to the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada agency that oversees boundary water issues, and will be officially released next month.

Every two years, the panel of scientists reviews the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the two countries, analyzing the state of the Great Lakes and recommending changes.

Environmentalists say the report could be a starting point for negotiations not only between the two countries but for a public dialogue on protecting the lakes.

"There's a perception out there that toxic chemicals are under control," said Dr. Ted Schettler, science director with the Science and Environmental Health Network, an Iowa-based research group on environmental and health issues. "The take-home message here ... is that the problem hasn't gone away."

Dennis Schornack, the U.S. chairman of the IJC, said he couldn't comment on the specifics of the report, since it hasn't been released yet.

"This is a board that we've appointed, and we trust them to deliver to us accurate, scientific information," said Schornack, declining further comment.

The report's conclusions and recommendations about toxic chemicals and fish advisories are just a handful of the 28 recommendations in the report to the IJC. Others include:

Encouraging both countries to spend more money to clean up contaminated sediments in the lakes;

Convening a conference to study the impact of urbanization on the Great Lakes;

Investing in research and pilot studies on the removal of pathogens from wastewater; and

Targeting flame retardants and their removal from the lakes.

A copy of the draft report was given to Booth Newspapers by the Public Education Center, a nonprofit journalism center in Washington that tracks environmental issues.

"(The board cites) compelling evidence that contaminants we've known about for decades -- PCBs, dioxin and mercury -- are causing increased disease, reduced IQs and other serious health problems in humans," said Mike Magner, a researcher with the center. "On top of that, they warn that a host of other chemicals -- flame retardants, plastics additives and even cosmetics and health-care products -- may be compounding those problems."

Environmentalists are focusing attention on the Great Lakes this week in preparation for an announcement Monday in Chicago by the Bush administration about its strategy to clean up the Great Lakes.

Last summer, a group of governors, mayors and environmental leaders recommended to the president that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the states spend up to $20 billion to clean up and protect the lakes.

The Bush administration announced last month that it wasn't likely that its Great Lakes strategy would include a multi-billion financial commitment. Instead officials are expected to focus on using the dozens of Great Lakes programs that are in place today to improve the quality of the lakes.

"The concentration of PCBs and total DDT and its metabolites in fish and wildlife tissues showed almost no decline between 1990 and 2000," the report states. "The concentration of PCBs in Great Lakes fish today is 40 times above EPA's acceptable level."

DDT is a pesticide, and PCBs are manufactured chemical compounds that don't burn easily and often are used as coolants and lubricants. Both chemicals can have toxic health effects in humans and animals.

The report also concludes that fish advisories have not been effective enough in warning certain populations about the dangers of eating Great Lakes fish.

"Women and minorities, two groups advisories were designed to protect, don't appear to know about the dangers of contaminated fish," the report says.

Women of child-bearing age are at increased risk, as are minorities who tend to eat more fish as a staple.

Knowing that, the panel recommends that the IJC modify its fish advisory advice to the two nations, suggesting that a single advisory be developed to cover contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins, pesticides and methylmercury. It recommends that the advisory be written in plain language and include nutritional information.

Currently there are multiple advisories on various toxins.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ecology; ecoping; environment; greatlakes

1 posted on 12/08/2005 8:51:45 AM PST by GreenFreeper
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To: GreenFreeper

Then why do we have so many damn mosquitos?


2 posted on 12/08/2005 8:53:11 AM PST by b4its2late (More Republicans in Congress need to grow a pair.)
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To: blam; Carry_Okie; Chanticleer; ClearCase_guy; cogitator; CollegeRepublican; ...
ECO-PING

FReepmail me to be added or removed to the ECO-PING list!

Lots of conjecture and slight on the facts but its an interesting look at the way the message is protrayed.

3 posted on 12/08/2005 8:53:57 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: GreenFreeper
"Women and minorities, two groups advisories were designed to protect, don't appear to know about the dangers of contaminated fish," the report says.

As usual, these two groups were hit hardest.

4 posted on 12/08/2005 8:54:03 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: ClearCase_guy
As usual, these two groups were hit hardest

Damn those white males who intentially poison the weak and ignorant.

5 posted on 12/08/2005 8:55:51 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: GreenFreeper
"The concentration of PCBs and total DDT and its metabolites in fish and wildlife tissues showed almost no decline between 1990 and 2000," the report states.

Yet they neatly tie the problem to the "Bush Administration strategy" to clean it up. . .

6 posted on 12/08/2005 9:00:20 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: GreenFreeper

Show me the data (and show me the measurement system analysis).


7 posted on 12/08/2005 9:05:50 AM PST by GOP_1900AD (Stomping on "PC," destroying the Left, and smoking out faux "conservatives" - Take Back The GOP!)
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To: GreenFreeper

Did someone turn over a rock?


8 posted on 12/08/2005 9:12:24 AM PST by hgro (A)
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To: GreenFreeper

I have lived on the Great Lakes system all my life:

I have lived on the Detroit River, Lake Superior, and now on the shores of Lake Erie.

When I was a kid the smell of dead fish in the Detroit River was so bad that people who came there to fish for the first time would vomit.

It is MUCH, MUCH BETTER NOW!

In Lake St Clair you can actually SEE the bottom since the Zebra Mussels arrived.

Trust Mikey on this one.


9 posted on 12/08/2005 9:21:08 AM PST by Mikey_1962 (I grew up in a slum, when I got to college it had become a "ghetto".)
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To: GreenFreeper
I'll repeat this post on any DDT thread you post without a link to JunkScience.com.

Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, featured in Esquire magazine, September 1971, eating a tablespoon of DDT, a feat he repeated publicly almost every week in his public campaign to show the safety of DDT.

J. Gordon Edwards died last year hiking in the Glacier National Park Wilderness at the age of 85. Dr. Edwards was a great man: a nature lover, a patriot, and a scientist.

10 posted on 12/08/2005 9:21:47 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: GreenFreeper

This is more bs.


11 posted on 12/08/2005 9:26:20 AM PST by freekitty
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To: Mikey_1962

Nothing better than a Lake Superior trout from the Brule, fresh caught, gutted and gilled, on the charcoal grill. Gimme a Leiney's.


12 posted on 12/08/2005 9:27:36 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: operation clinton cleanup; Lakeshark

ping

Great Lakes pollution.


13 posted on 12/08/2005 9:31:52 AM PST by phantomworker (We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are.<==> Perception is everything.)
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To: Mikey_1962
It is MUCH, MUCH BETTER NOW!

And then some. I remember dodging dead fish and globs of goo while swimming in Lake Michigan when I was a kid. My parents swam in it all their lives and are still going strong.

14 posted on 12/08/2005 9:55:20 AM PST by lizma
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To: ClearCase_guy

I'm gona run right out and dump some more toxins in the lake just to damage these two groups. Hopefully the idiot that wrote the report will fall under one or more of the catagories.


15 posted on 12/08/2005 9:56:09 AM PST by newcthem (Madison: Twenty square miles surrounded on all sides by reality)
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To: phantomworker
Mean. You are mean.

:-)

16 posted on 12/08/2005 10:00:47 AM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: Carry_Okie
I'll repeat this post on any DDT thread you post without a link to JunkScience.com.

Go ahead... I'm not going to link to junk science because that's what that site is, junk. They conviently leave out useful research to carryout their own agenda. I know your like digging into any research that you don't agree with, why don't you have a look at some of the studies that Junkscience cites? Are you willing to defend them?

17 posted on 12/08/2005 10:15:37 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: GreenFreeper
Encouraging both countries to spend more money to clean up contaminated sediments in the lakes;

From your article....you think this might have something to do with this report? Funding? I am shocked.

*Gasp*

18 posted on 12/08/2005 10:20:39 AM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: Lakeshark
Funding? I am shocked.

Like I said, the article is garbage but I thought it was an interesting (don't agree) take on the social dynamic of environmental issues.

19 posted on 12/08/2005 10:24:37 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: lizma
I remember dodging dead fish and globs of goo while swimming in Lake Michigan when I was a kid.

I tell that story all the time, too. Isn't that funny!! Trying to change the Lake's ecosystem. Did they introduce the lamprey eel to control the alewives?

How foolish they were to try to fool Mother Nature!

20 posted on 12/08/2005 10:27:41 AM PST by phantomworker (We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are.<==> Perception is everything.)
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To: GreenFreeper
I'm not suggesting we start polluting the lakes, but I am pretty sure they are in really good shape, far better than the average person thinks because of the enviro-disinformation campaign. The harder ones are the shallower ones like Eerie.

I'm a Great Lakes lover......they are magnificent and wonderful bodies of water.

21 posted on 12/08/2005 10:28:54 AM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: phantomworker; Lakeshark

actually a great deal of the water quality improvement is due to another exotic, the zebra muscle. The water clarity is the highest ever recorded in Lake Michigan.


22 posted on 12/08/2005 10:31:17 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: GreenFreeper

They are causing their own pretty serious problems......but you are right about them improving water clarity.


23 posted on 12/08/2005 10:33:53 AM PST by Lakeshark (Thank a member of the US armed forces for their sacrifice)
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To: Lakeshark
They are causing their own pretty serious problems......but you are right about them improving water clarity.

Yes they are and control measures have lost momentum due to their benefits as other issues have become more important. It all reminds me of a simpsons episode in which Bart released the Bolivian tree lizards...then they over took the town so they relased snakes that ate them. When the snake got out of control they release gorillas that ate the snakes...etc.

24 posted on 12/08/2005 10:41:06 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

"Nothing better than a Lake Superior trout from the Brule, fresh caught, gutted and gilled, on the charcoal grill. Gimme a Leiney's."

I've fished there. It is awesome! DH caught I nice one, I got skunked because I was just learning to flycast, but I still caught a Leinies out of the cooler, LOL! Thanks for the nice memory. :)


25 posted on 12/08/2005 10:43:31 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Gimme a Steelhead, a plate of wild rice and a cold one from Big Eddy Spring.


26 posted on 12/08/2005 10:57:47 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: GreenFreeper

bah.. just start drilling the great lakes, and charge the oil companies with keeping the lakes clean.


27 posted on 12/08/2005 11:28:45 AM PST by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: GreenFreeper
I'm not going to link to junk science because that's what that site is, junk.

Every one of those references is peer-reviewed, unlike your BS.

28 posted on 12/08/2005 12:01:52 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Lakeshark
far better than the average person thinks because of the enviro-disinformation campaign.

I live in Maryland now. A few years ago a federal report was released that said though not perfect, the Chesapeake Bay was doing better. Few months later another report is released that make the Bay sound like a poisoned sludge pond.

Who released the second report? Follow the money....The Chesapeake Bay Foundation. If the Bay is clean, or at least, if people think it's clean, the Foundation basically goes out of business. Can't have that now, can we?

29 posted on 12/08/2005 12:04:52 PM PST by lizma
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To: GreenFreeper

DDT is NOT toxic to humans.


30 posted on 12/08/2005 12:06:51 PM PST by gleneagle
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To: Carry_Okie
Every one of those references is peer-reviewed, unlike your BS.

So now peer review means its authoritative? LMAO. Then why all the criticism of articles I have posted in the past? So do the handful (many badly misinterpreted I might add) peer-reviewed articles cited on junkscience outweigh the THOUSANDS of peer-reviewed articles that contradict what junkscience is saying?

Your hypocrisy is blatant. Sound science is only that which fulfills your worldview- everything else is a big conspiracy.

31 posted on 12/08/2005 12:07:19 PM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: gleneagle
DDT is NOT toxic to humans.

Thats a strong statement considering things like chocholate are toxic to humans in large enough doses. While I do not think DDT is as dangerous as once thought, I certainly would like to keep exposure to a minimum.

32 posted on 12/08/2005 12:10:40 PM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: Mikey_1962; GreenFreeper
When I was a kid the smell of dead fish in the Detroit River was so bad that people who came there to fish for the first time would vomit.

It is MUCH, MUCH BETTER NOW!Trust Mikey on this one.


I agree with you. Also, the question that this article leaves unanswered is 'Which Lakes, and where'?

I used to live near Superior (Houghton, MI), and when sea kayaking I never had any issue drinking straight from the lake when I got thirsty. Erie and Ontario had problems from both US and CND manufacturing, but have cleaned up considerably due to the zebra muscles. I'm not saying that they are perfect, just that they have improved.

There was a govt superfund-site near Lake Linden, MI by where I used to live. (there was a HUGE copper mining industry there in the late 18, early 1900's. Some pics on my profile of an old CU smelter on water that leads to Superior) Fish were found with odd growths, it was thought from heavy metals and rock tailing piles that were in the water, from to the mining that once existed. That was found not to be the cause, something genetic if I remember correctly. The only thing that happened was sod was laid over a couple hundred yards of stamp sand beach "just in case" it could help. Good use of taxpayer $$, I just wonder what the pricetag was.

I tend to take the 'Great Lakes are dying' articles with a grain of salt. The area where I lived in MI is now very clean. Streams that once had no fish from pollution, now have brook trout. I saw eagles regularly when I kayaked on Superior, my dad told me when he was in school there in the 70's that he never saw any.
33 posted on 12/08/2005 12:39:45 PM PST by proud_yank (Experience Tolerance: tell a liberal you own guns and drive an SUV!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Lake, Splake, and Walleye, fesh out of the lake, skinned (not scaled) battered and fried immediately are all great....

People who have never had FRESH fish don't know what we are talikng about.


34 posted on 12/08/2005 12:52:38 PM PST by Mikey_1962 (I grew up in a slum, when I got to college it had become a "ghetto".)
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To: Mikey_1962

You can say that again.


35 posted on 12/08/2005 1:33:30 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: b4its2late
We also get 200+" of liberal-repellent each winter but the pesky critters still keep coming around, a northern twist on the damn-Yankee syndrome common to the South.

Miss Kito OTOH worked well in Alaska where Jacques Costeau had to turn around on the Yukon and beat ell out of there. Geneticists are hard at work on a misquito model that will eventually repel all of the coalition of the quivering--a term I picked up from Michelle Malkin.

But don't tell anyone...nicely ambiguous.

36 posted on 12/08/2005 4:53:23 PM PST by Simo Hayha (An education is incomplete without instruction in the use of arms to defend oneself from harm.)
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