Monday, January 21, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Chock Full of Contamination

Environmental and health advocates are calling for legislative action in Maryland after a report found widespread chemical contamination in the Chesapeake Bay. The federal report, posted Thursday on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay program, found nearly 75 percent of the bay's tidal waters are contaminated by toxic chemicals, The Baltimore Sun reported. The chemicals, which include mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are tainting fish.
This is not news; we've know for years that the Bay has problems with contaminants.  The 75% figure is bogus; the real answer is 100%.  It has to be because of the way the Bay mixes.  Maybe they set some threshold to get to 75%, but I don't know what basis they could choose that would exclude 25%.  For example, both PCBs and mercury are airborne contaminants; they are landing everywhere.

"Since 2000, new concerns, such as intersex conditions in fish, have arisen," the report says. "Although the causes are undetermined, there is increasing evidence that contaminant exposures may play a role."

In reaction to the report, advocates are making a push for Maryland lawmakers to increase data collection and research into the use and potential effects of pesticides and other chemicals that have been found in the bay.
This is what this is really all about. There is a push this year (again) for a bill that would require a much greater level of reporting on the use of pesticides on farms in Maryland.  I agree with this approach; we need the application data to know how much pesticides are being applied to the land and where.  We need the same data for all 5 Bay states, however.

"Science is telling us in some cases there is no safe level of exposure," Rebecca Ruggles, coordinator of the Maryland Environmental Health Network, said during a briefing Thursday in Annapolis, the state capital.
That's just B.S.  As Paracelsus said:
The dose makes the poison.

No comments:

Post a Comment