Skip to comments.Report: Don't kid yourself - toxins persist in the Great Lakes (DDT and PCBs)
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.
Then why do we have so many damn mosquitos?
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.
As usual, these two groups were hit hardest.
Damn those white males who intentially poison the weak and ignorant.
Yet they neatly tie the problem to the "Bush Administration strategy" to clean it up. . .
Show me the data (and show me the measurement system analysis).
Did someone turn over a rock?
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.
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.
This is more bs.
Nothing better than a Lake Superior trout from the Brule, fresh caught, gutted and gilled, on the charcoal grill. Gimme a Leiney's.
Great Lakes pollution.
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.
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.
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?
From your article....you think this might have something to do with this report? 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.
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!
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