Soaps, cosmetics dumped in Antartic waters polluting
A research team from New Zealand Thursday warned of the threat posed by pharmaceutical products, as also soaps and cosmetics, dumped in the Antarctic waters by Antarctic research bases.
Sydney: A research team from New Zealand Thursday warned of the threat posed by pharmaceutical products, as also soaps and cosmetics, dumped in the Antarctic waters by Antarctic research bases.
The warning was issued on the basis of a study by Canterbury University chemistry Ph.D student Phil Emnet.
The research focused on the residues of pharmaceutical products and emerging organic contaminants present in sewage effluents discharged from the bases.
"These emerging contaminants were also found in Antarctic coastal waters at concentrations comparable to more urban areas elsewhere in the world," said research supervisor Sally Gaw.
Gaw added that the discharged waste was potentially harmful to the environment and human health.
"We found contaminants along larger coastal areas than we expected. It is likely that the environmental conditions, including extreme cold, could have contributed to the persistence of some of these compounds in seawater," she said.
Gaw also said that the study drew attention to the impact of dumping waste in Antarctica since the pollutants are biologically active and might adversely affect marine organisms.
She added that the vulnerability of the organisms to these contaminants is yet to be studied.
Bryan Storey from Gateway Antarctica and Grant Northcott from Northcott Research Consultants also participated in the study, published in the Journal of Environmental Research.