Banned Chemicals Are Still Affecting Even The Deepest Waters

banned chemicals fumes

Banned chemicals known as PCBs are still very much affecting our planet’s deepest waters.

A new study revealed some quite concerning news. According to it, banned chemicals known as PCBs are still very much affecting our planet’s deepest waters. How so? Due to their “extraordinary” high levels.

Earth’s deepest waters are quite commonly considered pristine environments. Due to their great depths, it seemed quite unlikely that they could be affected by man. But a new study revealed that this belief may no longer hold.

A team of British researchers has been studying the Mariana Trench. This is the deepest area in all of the world’s oceans. It is about 1,580 miles long. And has an average width of around 43 miles. Its maximum known depth reaches some 36,070 feet deep.

This latest team of researchers comes from the United Kingdom’s University of Aberdeen. They were led by Alan Jamieson. Research results were released last month. They were published in the Nature, Ecology, and Evolution journal.

Available online since February 13, the paper is titled as follows. “Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna”.

Back in 2014, the research team carried out two expeditions. These went around 7 seven miles down into the Mariana Trench. The scientists targeted the study of amphipods. These shrimp-like creatures reside in the area’s depths.

Whilst studying the animals, research detected the presence of banned chemicals. And not only that, but the levels were “extraordinary” high. According to the study, the amount was more than just unexpected. It was also higher than the one registered in surface water animals.

Or more exactly, in species living in sea areas closer to the surface. When comparing the banned chemicals level detected in the two, results revealed the following. Deepwater animals held a 50 times higher concentration than their surface level relatives.

The banned chemicals detected are known as PCBs. Or more exactly, polychlorinated biphenyls. These were banned from use back in 1979. At the time, research discovered their detrimental effect. PCBs can affect both humans and the environment. And apparently, even its deepest parts.

The banned chemicals were used in electrical equipment. And also in plastics, rubbers, and paints. Or in various other industrial applications. Before being banned, they were utilized in quite a few areas. And their effects continue to persist to this day.

PCBs do not degrade naturally. As such, they were seen to travel through the food chain. Which led them to eventually sink into the deepest parts of the ocean. They were found in either heavy plastic bits. Or in decaying organisms.

The present study also determined the following. These banned chemicals are still leaching into our oceans. The PCB chemicals production is estimated to have reached around 1.3 million tons. Reportedly, a third of this quantity is already into Earth’s waters. All of them, from the deep ocean to the coastal waters.

Study results claim that PCBs can currently be detected even in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Almost 40 years have passed since they were banned. These banned chemicals could pose an even bigger threat to humans.

As they leak into the waters, they accumulate inside its animals. Seafood lovers risk unknowingly ingesting the chemicals. Which in high and frequent doses could lead to food poisoning. And significant other health risks.

The aforementioned study lead released a statement. Jamieson points out the following. According to him, this study really draws attention to some facts. For example, the human impact on even the deepest waters. And the fact that mankind may have a long-term impact on the planet.

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