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Scientists discover pollutants 10,000 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean
A new research has revealed the presence of chemical pollutants PCBs and PBDEs in some of the Pacific Ocean’s deepest trenches that were previously thought to be unharmed by human influence.
Scientists were surprised to find PCBs, PBDEs and other chemical pollutants in high concentrations in deep sea ecosystems because these pollutants have been banned since the 1970s.
Dr. Alan Jamieson of University of Newcastle and colleagues made the discovery through an analysis of sampled levels of pollutants in the fatty tissue of amphipods, a sort of crustacean, which lives in deep-sea habitat.
The researchers said, “[The study] provided clear evidence that the deep ocean, rather than being remote, is highly connected to surface waters and has been exposed to significant concentrations of human-made pollutants.”
Before being banned, these pollutants were widely used. From the 1930s to the 1970s, the total global production of PCBs was estimated to be more than 1.3 million tones.
The shocking findings of the new research were detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.