Great Lakes scientists say there’s been some progress made against traditional chemical threats, but researchers say other chemical contaminants are emerging in the lakes. Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Great Lakes scientists say there’s been some progress made against traditional chemical threats. But researchers say other chemical contaminants are emerging in the lakes. Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Scientists report overall declines in PCB’s, dioxin, and certain pesticides, partly because some of those substances are banned. But one chemical compound apparently on its way up is polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE’s. They’re used as fire retardants.
Carri Lohse-Hanson is with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She says even though scientists are still trying to learn more about PBDE’s, there should be controls on the chemical.
“I think the preventative approach would be preferable than waiting until we had all the information to figure out if we had to do some kind of reduction.”
Lohse-Hanson says there have been some changes in the use of flame retardants and the phasing out of certain forms of PBDE’s.
The EPA says it still needs to determine the effects of the compound at the levels it’s being found in the environment.
For the Environment Report, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.