Silver Spring, Maryland -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a new report which claims that PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are present in all US coastal waters and great lakes, with elevated levels near urban and industrial centres.
The report is based on data from NOAA's Mussel Watch Program, which has been monitoring coastal water contaminants for 24 years. The NOAA said the results contrast analysis of samples in 1996 that identified PBDEs in only a limited number of sites around the US. The nationwide survey found that New York's Hudson Raritan Estuary had the highest overall concentrations of PBDEs, both in sediments and shellfish.
"Scientific evidence strongly documents that these contaminants impact the food web and action is needed to reduce the threats posed to aquatic resources and human health," said John Dunnigan, NOAA assistant administrator of the National Ocean Service.
NOAA and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project have recently held meetings with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the California State Water Resources Control Board to discuss water quality monitoring of emerging contaminants, the statement said. (RD)