Persistent Organic Pollutants

Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal? - Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Persistent Organic Pollutants

image by: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
     

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The problems won’t go away: Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Arctic

While climate change and carbon have stolen the limelight in recent months, there has been little attention paid to Persistent Organic Pollutants—also known as POPs. As the name suggests, POPs are environmentally persistent, which means that they take a long time to degrade and can be transported over long distances. Due to the environmental conditions in the Arctic, they often end up “trapped” there.

Many of the chemicals classified as a POP were widely used globally in commercial products, in particular as pesticides and insecticides. The most well known pollutants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), widely used in plastic products, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT),…

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Last Updated : Monday, March 4, 2019