Navigation Links
High levels of toxic compounds found on coasts of West Africa
Date:4/6/2011

"We were not expecting to find such high levels of PCBs, highly toxic compounds that are considered as priority compounds by European legislation, in a region such as the western coast of Africa", Ailette Prieto, a researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU-Spain) and co-author of a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, tells SINC.

PCBs, which some studies have shown to be carcinogenic compounds, were used years ago as dielectric fluids in transformers, condensers and coolants for various devices. However, their production was banned in the United States in 1979 due to their toxicity and persistence in the environment, and they were banned from 2001 onwards in countries such as Spain that signed up to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Compounds.

Now, the team led by researcher Rosalinda Gioia at Lancaster University (United Kingdom), has shown that high concentrations of PCBs (between 10 and 360 picograms/m3) are found in some countries in West Africa, such as the Gambia and Ivory Coast, and all along this coast.

For this study, the scientists have carried out several years of research campaigns throughout the region over recent years, taking air samples from the German ship RV Polastern. They also gathered samples from land-based stations (Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Ghana), and used particle dispersion models to seek the possible sources of the contamination.

Illegal dumping and ship graveyards

Gioia explains that the high levels of PCBs could come from more than one potential source "the illegal dumping of waste containing these compounds they can be released through volatilisation and uncontrolled burning as well as the storage and scrapping of old ships". The study points particularly to the large ships' graveyard in the bay of Nuadib (Mauritania), which is one of the largest in the world.

"Another possible source could be the burning of organic material from forest fires in the region, but we have ruled this out because such cases also release other contaminants (PAHs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and we hardly detected any of these", Prieto adds.

The data for the study -that has also appeared in Nature News- were collected in 2007 during the ship RV Polastern's scientific expedition of the from Germany to South Africa. The samples were collected using "sponges" that substances in the air stick to. Subsequently, these samples were frozen and examined in European laboratories, including the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the UPV in Bilbao. The team repeated the expedition in November 2010, and the latest samples are currently being analysed.


'/>"/>

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

Related medicine news :

1. Elevated levels of sodium blunt response to stress, study shows
2. Levels of Radiation in Wash. State Milk No Threat to Health: FDA
3. Most Americans Seem to Have Healthy Levels of Vitamin D
4. Babies who sleep with smoker parents exhibit high nicotine levels
5. Nicotine Raises Blood Sugar Levels in Lab
6. High Smog Levels Might Threaten Lung Transplant Success
7. Metabolite levels may be able to improve diabetes risk prediction
8. Helicobacter pylori infection linked to decreased iron levels in otherwise healthy children, according to research at UTHealth
9. Potassium levels possible key to racial disparity in Type 2 diabetes
10. Binge eaters dopamine levels spike at sight, smell of food
11. Rapid Rise in PSA Levels a Poor Predictor of Prostate Cancer: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
High levels of toxic compounds found on coasts of West Africa
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ... on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families ... However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client ... elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out ... free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting ... children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile coaching services ... by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise Agile Transformation ... Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS programs. Coveros ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of ... National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will host its fiscal ... Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 7:00 a.m. (CDT) ... a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). In ... guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will also highlight the ... long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... immunogenicity assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced ... focused on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer ... and has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies ... MSc Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., ... analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 by ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized ... for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and ... Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: