It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In The Last Gasp, British marine biologist Gavin Chase uncovers a potential global disaster in which the world is being drained of its oxygen supply as forests and oceanic microscopic plant life, the main suppliers of the planet's oxygen, dwindle away. When Chase and two other scientists attempt to notify the government and scientific community, they stumble upon a secret Russian-American plan to launch an "environmental war" in which three quarters of the earth's population would be exterminated in order to provide oxygen for the remaining population. Comparing Hoyle's writing to that of Aldous Huxley, Washington Post reviewer Carol Van Strum commented that, "The Last Gasp reads more like a documentary thriller than science fiction." She also noted that it was a "landmark in the emerging field of eco-fiction."
Dioxins and furans are some of the most toxic chemicals known to science. A draft report released for public comment in September 1994 by the US Environmental Protection Agency clearly describes dioxin as a serious public health threat. The public health impact of dioxin may rival the impact that DDT had on public health in the 1960's. According to the EPA report, not only does there appear to be no "safe" level of exposure to dioxin, but levels of dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals have been found in the general US population that are "at or near levels associated with adverse health effects."
Some POPs have been used or released in Alaska and other northern regions by military sites, smelters, pulp and paper mills, power stations, mines, and other sources. Others have rarely or never been used locally.
POPs can enter Alaska and the Arctic in several ways, too. The first indication that Arctic pollution could originate elsewhere came during the 1950s, when pilots noticed a haze in the North American Arctic that was eventually traced to sources in the lower latitudes. Since then, scientists have discovered that POPs can reach Arctic regions via air, water, and, to a lesser extent, migratory species.
Sheboygan River Legacy Act Cleanup
EPA is beginning a $30-35 million Great Lakes Legacy Act sediment removal project. About 160,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with PCBs and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, will be removed from the river. Workers will remove about 1,800 pounds of PCBs and 37,000 pounds of PAHs. Another benefit of the dredging will be greater depth in the Sheboygan River, improving navigation.
Bioaccumulation is followed by biomagnification. Lipid soluble compounds are first accumulated to microscopic organisms such as phytoplankton (plankton of plant character, e.g. algae). Phytoplankton is consumed by animal plankton, this by invertebrates such as insects, these by small fish, and further by large fish and seals.
Likewise, in America, the populations of bald eagle declined because of POPs causing thinning of eggs and other reproductive problems. Usually, the failure has been attributed mostly to DDT, but dioxins are also a possible cause of reproductive effects. Both in America and in Europe, many waterfowl have high concentrations of dioxins, but usually not high enough to disturb their reproductive success. Due to supplementary winter feeding and other measures also, the white-tailed eagle is recovering (see White-tailed eagle). Also, ringed seals in the Baltic Sea are recovering.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified TCDD as a human carcinogen (class 1) on the basis of clear animal carcinogenicity and limited human data, but was not able to classify other dioxins. It is thought that the presence of dioxin can accelerate the formation of tumours and adversely affect the normal mechanisms for inhibiting tumour growth, without actually instigating the carcinogenic event.