Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Number of contaminants in marine ecosystems a concern

Growing number of contaminants in marine ecosystems a concern

October 17, 2013

Chemicals from every day household products are increasingly being detected in the environment.

The presence of a growing number of contaminants, in particular pharmaceuticals in marine ecosystems, is of international concern as many of these every day chemicals are designed to be biologically active and may have adverse effects on marine organisms, University of Canterbury (UC) senior chemistry lecturer Dr Sally Gaw says.

The emerging contaminants are not routinely monitored in the environment but they pose potential threats to ecosystems and human health, she says.

``These emerging contaminants are of interest either because we have more information about their adverse effects in the environment or, in some cases, due to advances in analytical equipment we are now able to detect them in the environment,’’ Dr Gaw says.

She will be giving a public lecture on campus next week (October 23) discussing emerging contaminants. Dr Gaw will explain how pharmaceutical contaminants enter coastal waters, how showering and cleaning your teeth can contribute to marine pollution and how anti-depressants have been found in fish brains.

`` Until recently, researchers investigating the impacts of these emerging contaminants have focussed on freshwater environments and there has been limited assessment of these every day chemicals in marine environments.

``New Zealand's population is predominantly coastal, with three quarters of the population living within 10km of the coast. The coastline is a national taonga and a significant source of income.

``I will be explaining the likely impacts of emerging contaminants in the marine environment and the potential impacts on human health.

``Many of these contaminants are every day chemicals in widespread use in consumer products, personal care products and pharmaceuticals. The presence of antibiotics and antimicrobial compounds in the environment is a public health issue due to the potential for the development of antibiotic drug resistance in bacteria.

``Sewage discharges are a major source of emerging contaminants entering coastal waters. Current sewage treatment processes were not designed to remove these types of contaminants.’’

Measures to reduce the impact of emerging contaminants in the marine environment will involve a combination of improved treatment at wastewater plants and regulatory controls for high risk chemicals, Dr Gaw says.

For details about her lecture, see: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/event/8360082231

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news