Toxins in whales' bodies harmful for humans, says report
By siliconindia news bureau
Friday, 25 June 2010, 22:32 Hrs
Email Agadir, Morocco: A report released by Ocean Alliance, a research and conservation group, says that sperm whales feed on high levels of toxic and heavy metals which are harmful for millions of people who depend on seafood. It noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years.
Whales have ingested pollutants which might have been produced by humans many miles away, the researchers noted. "These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean," said biologist Roger Payne, Founder and President of Ocean Alliance.
The research findings show that mercury levels as high as 16 parts per million in whales. Shark and swordfish have levels about 1 part per million of mercury. These are the fish that health experts warn children and pregnant women to avoid.
Payne said sperm whales, which occupy the top of the food chain, absorb the contaminants and pass them on to the next generation when a female nurses her calf. "What she's actually doing is dumping her lifetime accumulation of that fat-soluble stuff into her baby," he said, and each generation passes on more to the next.
All this contaminate the seafood which is a primary source of animal protein for 1 billion people. Following this research, U.S. Whaling Commissioner Monica Medina informed the 88 member nations of the whaling commission of the report and urged the commission to conduct further research.
The research went on for five years, and samples were collected from 955 whales. The DNA of the whales was compared to make sure they were not tested upon more than once. This analysis was done by marine toxicologist John Wise at the University of Southern Maine.
The findings of the study shocked the researchers. "When you're working with a synthetic chemical which never existed in nature before and you find it in a whale which came from the Arctic or Antarctic, it tells you that was made by people and it got into the whale," Payne added.
The contaminants were most likely carried by wind or ocean currents, or were eaten by the sperm whales' prey. Sperm whales are toothed whales that eat all kinds of fish, even sharks.
Chromium, an industrial pollutant that causes cancer in humans, was found in all but two of the 361 sperm whale samples that were tested for it. Those findings were published last year in the scientific journal Chemosphere. The corrosion-resistant metal is used in stainless steel, paints, dyes and the tanning of leather. It can cause lung cancer in people who work in industries where it is commonly used.
Payne concluded saying the repercussions of the metals could be horrific for both whales and man.
--this bothers me people.
I see no way out of this one!
I fear the cure might be worse than the condition! Might have to have appointed one dictator for the whole world and everyone do what he says and then ban 2/3rds of the industries and thus throwing the world into economic depression. Might even have to go back to about 1700, not even kerosene lamps. family farms and maybe only a million or so people in the whole world. Ban ownership of anything. Only collective family farms and collective government supply stores.
dead seas and pretty dead lands, with everyone filled with toxic chemicals.