Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toxins in Whales: This Decade's Warning

Whales in the most remote oceans harbor toxins generated by humans. Found in their tissues:

high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium
AP reported the consequences of the metals could be horrific for both whale and man.

"I don't see any future for whale species except extinction," biologist Roger Payne said. "This is not on anybody's radar, no government's radar anywhere, and I think it should be."

That's odd, given a 2000 story with similar findings. CNN reported:

A 1998 study by the International Whaling Commission determined levels of contamination among some marine mammals are so high that the animals would be classified as hazardous waste sites if they were on land.

Several reports circulated at the International Whaling Commission meeting in July about the level of contaminants of whale meat in Japan, Phillips added. "Building on previous studies scientists have just reported new contaminants data from Japan, she said. "They detected mercury some 1,600 times above the government permitted level as well as large amounts of organic mercury and cadmium in whale meat that is widely available."

What happened in between 2000 and 2010? The Chinese economic engine pumped out plenty of toxic products. Humans experienced tainted blood thinner, deadly infant formula, toxic drywall and poisonous children's jewelry. I'm sure other countries contributed to the dire situation. The pursuit of profits at the expense of quality causes heavy losses, for humans and whales.

No comments: