Persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic environment : from emissions to effects
Sl. : [S.n.]
Number of pages
Radboud University, 25 november 2020
Promotores : Hendriks, A.J., Ragas, A.M.J.
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Summary The Arctic is subjected to many threats induced by anthropogenic activity, including pollution with persistent organic pollutants. The occurrence of POPs in the Arctic has been of constant concern, as these chemicals cause reproductive effects and mortality in organisms. Despite the banning of many POPs in the 1970s, high levels of these compounds have been observed in Arctic biota. This makes the Arctic an interesting case for chemical fate, bioaccumulation and effect studies. Especially polar bears are suspected to be impacted by these high POP levels, due to their position in the Arctic food chain. However, there is not enough data available to monitor fate, bioaccumulation and effects in the Arctic. Monitoring data on POP transport, bioaccumulation and effects are severely limited and conducting extensive empirical studies for all POPs and species individually is unfeasible. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new in silico techniques or validation of existing models to realistically quantify POP transport to the Arctic, bioaccumulation, and effects. In the present thesis, we evaluated multiple models/modelling approaches in predicting chemical fate, bioaccumulation and effects of POPs in the Arctic environment. Considerable amounts of data are required, pertaining to both the studied chemical (e.g. emissions from lower latitudes, ecotoxicity, environmental residues and physicochemical characteristics) and Arctic species to quantify the aforementioned aspects in the Arctic. We showed that despite the large number of scattered monitoring programs and research articles related to POP levels in biota, sufficient monitoring data are available to assess the chemical fate and bioaccumulation POPs in biota through mechanistic modelling and statistical modelling. Global warming in the future, however, may accelerate POP exposure, due to revolatilization of POPs from seawater/ice, increased mining activity, shipping and tourism.
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