Source of priority substances in Developed countries is mainly from domestic sources.

Human health

Priority substances are toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic and are implicated in many different disease and syndromes relating from AD (attention deficient syndrome) in children to potentially autoimmune disorders and neurological disorders. These are just some of the impacts on human health, you then have the impact they have on the environment from domestic products such as;

  • Cleaning products
  • Domestic care products
  • Cosmetics
  • Micro-fibres in cloths
  • Fire retardants in cloths and furniture
  • Electrical appliances, phones and computers

Environmental health

Everything that is used will eventually end up back in the environment and the oceans. By way of example 1 drop of a methyl mercury dropped into the source of rivers such as the Thames or the Rhine will end up in a concentration that will be toxic at the mouth of either river. The quantities of the chemicals involved are almost below detection level. Even if the chemicals can not be measured, it will still be toxic because plankton and animals concentrate the chemicals in their body through a process of chain amplification. By ay of example if you eat more that two oily fish such as mackerel from the North Sea every week, you will suffer from PCB and dioxin poisoning.

The Oceans are under serious threat and unless we can reverse the trend there will be a cascade desalination of the marine ecosystem. We will lose all fish, whales, seals, birds polar bears as well as the food supply for over 1.5 billion people. We all have a responsibility to fix the problem.

What can we do ?

The main source of priority chemicals in Europe and North America is everyone that we uses cosmetics, most cleaning products, dishwashing tablets, if you wear a fleece or sit on a chair with fire retardants such as PBDE. In order to make an informed choice, this section of the website will be developed as a register of products of concern and products that are acceptable.

The choice of acceptable products is currently very small, industry and companies must therefore develop a range of new products or technology to recycle and reuse waste products in a Circular Economy that does not allow such toxic substances to be produced.

Plankton, the lungs of our world

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Animals in danger from toxic priority chemicals

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pristine oceans


polluted oceans


'Extraordinary' levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench

Newcastle University marine science department have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean.

Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China.

“We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth,” said Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University in the UK, who led the research.

“The fact that we found such extraordinary levels of these pollutants really brings home the long-term, devastating impact that mankind is having on the planet,” he said.

Jamieson’s team identified two key types of severely toxic industrial chemicals that were banned in the late 1970s, but do not break down in the environment, known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These chemicals have previously been found at high levels in Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic and in killer whales and dolphins in western Europe.

The research, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, suggests that the POPs infiltrate the deepest parts of the oceans as dead animals and particles of plastic fall downwards. POPs accumulate in fat and are therefore concentrated in creatures up the food chain. They are also water-repellent and so stick to plastic waste.