Navigation Links
European coastal pollution is harmful to seals
Date:3/22/2011

The bodies of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), which live in estuaries or along coastlines where industrial activities take place, are highly contaminated. This is the result of a European study, involving Spanish participation, which warns of the danger to these mammals from ports throughout Europe, even in the Mediterranean.

"Although there are no seals in Spanish waters, these species can be used as biomonitors of global pollution", Octavio Prez Luzardo, one of the authors of the study published recently in Marine Pollution Bulletin, and a researcher in the Environment and Health Research Group at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, tells SINC.

The group discovered that a population of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) from the estuary of the Elbe river (Germany) is exposed to higher levels of contamination than other animals living at a certain distance from the coast. Industrial activities, dredging and shipping have made this river one of the largest sources of pollution in the German waters of the North Sea.

"What is happening to the seals is happening to all the other species that share their ecosystem", says Prez Luzardo. The expert says that, "this kind of study, repeated periodically, is important because it makes it possible to monitor the effectiveness of policies put in place to prevent chemical contamination".

There is a large seal community throughout the whole of Europe in Scotland, the Scandinavian countries and the Mediterranean, where the Monk seal (Monachus monachus) lives. There are "also small populations of this seal in the Atlantic (Madeira), and it is at serious risk of extinction", the researcher warns.

High levels of heavy metals

In order to carry out the study, the experts measured the levels of 17 persistent pesticides, "many of which were banned more than 30 years ago, but which are still present because they are so resistant to being broken down". The researchers also analysed 19 types of polychlorinated biphenyls, which are considered to be the most toxic chemical compounds because of their similarity to dioxins (carcinogenic compounds).

These mammals show up high levels of various metals and organochloride pollutants from the Elbe river. The seals also display higher levels of gamma globulins and antibodies (measurements of immunity) than other animals that do not live in the estuary, which suggests that there are a high amount of disease-causing agents (pathogens) in this area.

Heavy metals are natural elements that do not break down. "Humans extract them from mines, where they are immobile, concentrate them and release them into the environment", explains Prez Luzardo.

The study was carried out on five seals, because they are "adult wild animals that are very difficult to catch without harming them in any way", the researcher adds. He is currently working on another project involving a larger sample of 36 animals.

The researchers are currently analysing how this kind of pollution affects human beings and animal species such as sea turtles from the Canary Islands and Cape Verde.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Your e-Marketing Journey in 2010: An e-Book for Corporate Communicators Working in European Headquarters
2. United Therapeutics Corporation Withdraws European Marketing Authorization Application for Tyvaso for the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
3. International Collaboration: FDA and European Medicines Agency Agree to Accept a Single Orphan Drug Designation Annual Report
4. Yondelis(R) Receives Five New Approvals Outside the European Economic Area
5. Promega Maxwell 16 IVD System CE Marked to the European Union IVD Directive Delivers Combined Solution for Infectious Disease
6. The European Medicines Agency Completes Validation Stage for InterMunes Marketing Authorization Application for pirfenidone
7. European hematologist receives award to conduct research in US
8. European collaboration seeks to create World Wide Web for robots
9. HCL Thames Medics says more locum doctors could help address European Working Time Directive shortage
10. Third European Novel Food Approval Received by Tahitian Noni International
11. European Urology: Editorial about REDUCE trial underlines value of dutasteride
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
European coastal pollution is harmful to seals 
(Date:4/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 23, 2017 , ... ... and managed services announced the achievement of Cisco Select certification and SMB specialization. ... the United States. , In earning the Select Certification, Altura fulfilled ...
(Date:4/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... PharmacyChecker.com released its first International Prescription ... 70% when buying medication online from Canadian pharmacies verified in the PharmacyChecker Verification ... countries. The report (chart below) compares U.S. and foreign prices for 20 of ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... An April 10 ... pair of ancient teeth, which reveal a great deal about prehistoric ice-age dental practitioners ... stone may have been used to remove decayed dental matter, and that teeth were ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... professor Christopher Salas-Wright finds that youth violence is declining—and at noteworthy rates. Between ... relative proportion of young people involved in violence in the United States. The ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... Wis. (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... today announced that its B-595 and B-7569 vinyl label materials ... identification and warning labels are tested to remain intact and legible, for use on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 The ... Application, Forecast to 2022 report has covered and analysed the ... and information on market size, shares and growth factors. The ... drivers, challenges and opportunities in the global market. ... Browse 152 Tables and Figures, 6 ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017  SARES•REGIS Group leased the first of ... Conejo Spectrum Business Park in Thousand ... Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company developing meaningful therapies ... have been underserved by scientific innovation, with an ... autoimmune and infectious disease. Before commencement ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Astute Medical, Inc., ... case series to be presented at the 2017 National ... begins today and continues through April 22. Physicians will ... , used to assess risk for acute kidney injury ... heart failure (ADHF). Elevated levels of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: