A new film investigating killer whales enters the domain of human health, raising urgent concerns about an increasingly global problem. The film reveals that many populations of killer whales are contaminated with toxic, synthetic flame retardant chemicals known as PBDEs.
‘Call of the Killer Whale’ was produced by explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and his US-based NGO, Ocean Future Society. The highly toxic PBDEs discovered in the whales are used widely in furniture and many children’s products to reduce flammability. The Ocean Future Society has launched a campaign to create a dialogue for change.
The toxic flame retardant in use today, DecaBDE, is present in many common products, including TVs, electronics, textiles, and furniture. It is now known that many synthetic flame retardant chemicals leak into the environment through the air, are carried by dust and water and enter the food chain. The chemicals remain in the environment, concentrate over time, are highly toxic, with likely adverse effects on both orcas and humans, and are now found globally in the ocean. Their presence in the environment has been doubling every few years.
The science is clear that these chemicals represent enormous potential harm to the development of both animals and children. The Ocean Future Society is joining forces with decision-makers in government and industry to address the public’s demand for protection. They aim to prevent such chemicals from entering the environment, to find alternatives, and to anticipate problems before they occur.
The campaign intends to educate, inform and create a dialogue for change, from the level of the individual to the corporate boardroom and international legislatures, until environmental protection from toxic contaminants like flame retardants is assured.
> Read more about the Toxic Flame Retardant Camapign
|Companies must tell you, at no charge, about harmful chemicals present in many consumer products, but ONLY if you ask. Use Your Right To Know! Send a letter to companies to find out what harmful chemicals are in products you buy.|
Written on 11 May 2009.