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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news