83,000 toxic chemicals pose unknown threats
Sydney: Some 83,000 synthetic chemicals circulate freely in water, soil, air, wildlife, food and manufactured goods, posing unknown threats to human and environmental health, scientists warn.
The warning has been issued by one of most distinguished soil scientists, Ravi Naidu, professor at the University of South Australia and the CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE).
"When people think of the impact of human activity on global systems, they tend to think mainly of greenhouse gases, urban air pollution or nutrient pollution of water bodies - but in fact there is a far wider array of toxic substances now in the earth system circulation," said Naidu, according to a CRC CARE statement.
"And research in the US, Europe and China is finding many babies are now born contaminated, while mothers are unknowingly passing man-made carcinogens and other toxins to their babies in maternal milk," said Naidu.
"The water beneath most of our great cities is so contaminated it is often undrinkable. Pesticides and `gender-bender` compounds are now quite commonly found in the food chain and public water supplies," said Naidu.
"The first step in protecting our own health and that of all living species, is to understand what is really going on globally - and to do that we need a worldwide team of the best scientists in the field."
"The proposed Global Contamination Research Initiative GCRI is envisioned as a global scientific partnership that will bring an international focus to an issue which affects all people, everywhere, but has largely gone under the radar," said Naidu.
"For example Chinese studies have shown how toxic electronic waste, generated in Europe or US, can travel to China for unregulated re-processing, then go back again to reach consumers in Europe in foods produced with contaminated soil or water, all in a matter of months."
Naidu has just been made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), for "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications (which) are scientifically or socially distinguished."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Fiji: Floating island restaurant in middle of ocean
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened