Updates on PCBs

I have two important updates on PCBs based on new researches which I read earlier today and feel it is important to share it with readers on my blog. It could be recalled that I made a post on PCBs, January 1st 2011. Enjoy!
1. Salmon farms contaminate wild fish: Salmon farms may be contaminating local wild fish but how much depends on the species, finds a new study that raises another concern about the environmental impacts of salmon farming. The contaminants, including PCBs, DDT and PBDEs, apparently come from pellets fed the farmed fish. Wild fish eat pellets that escape from the salmon pens. The results suggest that eating wild fish that live near salmon farms may also be a concern for human exposure to these contaminants.
2. Link between PCBs and blood pressure broader than suspected: High levels of PCBs in people’s blood may contribute to elevated blood pressures – but not just in those at the high end of exposures, as was previously thought. New findings show that PCBs at low levels could increase blood pressure in healthy people, too. The associations between hypertension and PCBs persisted even after accounting for important risk factors such as age, body mass index (BMI), gender, race, smoking and exercise.

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7 thoughts on “Updates on PCBs

  1. Jalal, thanks for this beautiful update on PCBs. I can now see the reason why in this our generation, more than ever before, the incidence of Hypertension is on the increase. Industrialization (and globalization) especially in the low-income economies have their negative consequences i.e. exposure to PCBs, dioxins, DDT and other environmental pollutants since often there is no set environmental standards to shield people from these man-made pollutants. I call this the price of globalization vis-a-vis industrialization.

  2. This issue of wild fish and farmed salmon both having high concentrations of POPs, PCBs, mercury all raises concern about eating any with a view to getting the Omega-3 fatty acids. Alternatively, other sources of the important nutrient should be sought eg the nuts, almonds etc.

  3. Interesting….this reminds me of trade-offs: losing the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in trying to avoid these man- made environmental pollutants. I would equally advice on going for the alternative source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Well done Jalal!

  4. In view of the uncertainties associated with eating either wild fish and farmed salmon and considering the enormous benefits attached to their consumption, the advice here especially for pregnant women and children is to limit the number of fish consumed or go for those species with lower levels eg saithe or even better to go for nuts.

  5. This is a typical example of the ‘wild, wild, west’. Why can’t the high income countries create something that would replace the man-made PCBs, POPs (since they are the cause of all these brouhaha) etc. In the 19th century, there wasn’t anything like this until when industrial revolution came into being. Is it a deliberate act that these pollutants are created with a view to have diseases and then their pharmaceutical industries to develop drugs (and serve as means of creating jobs for their citizenry) or WHAT?

  6. In view of the fact that most of these studies are not conclusive, there is a need to employ Precautionary Principle.

  7. Very interesting discourse on PCBs and other environmental pollutants. In most of the literatures which I read relating to PCBs, POPs and other man-made environmental pollutants, the fish source determines whether it is polluted or not as some international waters are more polluted and some are not.
    It is disheartening to note that most industrial and toxic waste, especially in the industrialized countries, are often discharged in international waters thus polluting the water and its aquatic inhabitants and indirectly entering our food chain.
    In the 80s through 90s, when global awareness regarding the ill-effect of these man-made pollutants was limited, toxic and industrial wastes were shipped from the world industrialized countries and dumped in the waters of the low-income economies thus polluting their waters. Although there is paucity of literature in this regard, aquatic inhabitants of waters from the low-income countries are far less polluted than that of the developed economies and this is often attributed to the fact that the low-income economies have fewer industries to pollute their rivers.
    In addition to adhering to Precautionary Principle, as Brian suggested, I would equally urge environmentalists to put more pressure on those advanced economies to minimize and also ensure that effluents from their industries are treated adequately before releasing into the seas or oceans.

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