limiting the emission of toxins to 'safe' levels is not enough; what is required is a complete stop in the production of pollutants like dioxins, says the International Joint Commission appointed by the governments of us and Canada, to study the current state of the Great Lakes, which overlaps the borders of the two countries. It recommends that the two governments must pass stricter laws which would ban industries from continuing with the manufacture of these contaminants.
The commission, which released its biennial report last week, fears the threat from airborne pollutants and, thus, calls for the banning of such organic pollutants like dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls, which take a long time to break down into harmless chemicals.
Some 60 gm of dioxins enter the Great Lakes every year. Said John McDonald, a commission member, "Twenty-five years ago, the effects of pollution in the water were apparent to anybody who visited (the Lakes); now the effects are chronic, not acute, and subject to debate." There is evidence that these persistent chemicals enter the food chain and cause problems like the birth of smaller-sized children to mothers who ate large quantities of fish sourced from the Lakes.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.