Chemicals that were banned more than 40 years ago are still found in the deepest parts of oceans. A new research focused on the Pacific Oceans and the levels of banned chemicals that are found there. The researchers mentioned that they did not expect the levels of banned chemicals to be so high.
The banned chemicals that were found in the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean were used in the 20th century. After they were found to be toxic, they were forbidden. The problem is that these chemicals can still be found in the oceans despite the fact that a long time has passed since they started being considered toxic.
A team of researchers from the University of Newcastle analyzed a few samples in order to see the level of chemicals that are found in them. The team focused on the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean. The samples were from the fatty tissue of a type of crustacean. This marine animal lives in the deepest part of oceans.
These marine animals were taken from the Kermadec and Mariana trenches. They were retrieved from depths bigger than 10km. In order to make sure that the results were diversified they took these animals from different places that were 7000km apart.
The banned chemicals that were found in these marine animals include PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Both of these chemicals were banned before 1980. Before they were banned, their production was massive. For instance, since 1930 and up to 1970 the total production of the PCBs banned chemicals is estimated at 1.3 million tons.
The biggest issue when it comes to these banned chemicals is that they persist in the environment because they are resistant to breaking naturally. The researchers mentioned that it is very hard to measure exactly the levels of banned chemicals that are found in the Pacific Ocean.
Another problem is that these chemicals go from animal to animal. Once an animal has these chemicals in its body and it is eaten by another animal it gives the chemical to it. This is how more and more marine animals can have toxic substances that can affect people too.
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Image source: Wikipedia
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