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Research reveals poisonous plastic pollutants in the Ocean   
 
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17-Sep-2009  
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A Japanese Professor in Geochemistry, Hideshige Taka, on Thursday said the ocean was being poisoned with Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which caused deformities in marine lives and human beings.

He explained that aquatic animals especially fishes transfer the effect of the POPs, which were like plastic resin pallets and in the form of small granules, generally with the shape of a cylinder or a disk, with a diameter of about a millimetre through the food chain.

“The plastic particles are the industrial raw materials transported to manufacturing sites where the plastics are made by re-melting the pellets and moulding them into final products,“ he added.

Prof. Taka was addressing a seminar organised by the Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, in Accra.

The seminar is on global monitoring of POPs, and seeks to educate Ghanaians on the International Pellet Watch (IPW) to understand the current status of global POPs pollution, using the beach plastic resin pellets, which is a cheaper method of sampling, and encourage volunteers for plastic pellet collection.

Prof. Taka said the pellets contained various organic micro-pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, (PBC), DDT and nonylphenol. These resin pellets though accidentally released into the environment during manufacturing and transportation, were easily carried by surface run-off, streams and rivers into the ocean and could be found on all beaches in the world.

He called for volunteers in the collection of plastic resin pallets which were available on the beaches, to be sent through air mail to the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for further laboratory analysis, and the results returned to participants and other related sites on the internet.

“Based on the analytical results, global disturbances of these organic micro-pollutants would be mapped,“ he said.
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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