Finding pesticides in the Arctic and Antarctic
Another paper on the topic of industrial chemicals that I have contributed to has been published. The paper is titled: “Historic Atmospheric Organochlorine Pesticide and Halogenated Industrial Compound Inputs to Glacier Ice Cores in Antarctica and the Arctic“. In the paper we are looking at ice core samples from the Arctic and Antarctica and sampled them for pesticides (organochlorine pesticides or OCPs). Similar to our work on PCBs, we found significant levels of pollution in both study areas.
OCPs are a group of synthetic organic compounds that are often used as pesticides (e.g. DDT). Many OCPs are persistent organic pollutants, meaning they degrade very slowly in the environment and can accumulate in the food chain. Many OCPs have very severe hazards to the environment and humans. Their ability to travel large distances via long-range atmospheric transport is shown by their occurrence in even the most remote places of the Earth.