Report: More work needed on identifying Great Lakes toxins
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A report by a U.S.-Canadian agency says the two nations are behind schedule on identifying chemical pollutants in the Great Lakes and developing strategies to deal with them.
The International Joint Commission says familiar toxic substances such as PCBs and dioxins appear to be declining or at least getting no worse in herring gull eggs, a key indicator of the chemicals’ presence.
But several new and emerging chemicals such as fire retardants seem to be increasingly prevalent and could harm to the Great Lakes ecosystem. There’s also indication of rising mercury contamination in some fish, although levels remain below those of the 1970s.
Those are among findings in a commission draft report on how both nations are complying with a water quality agreement adopted in 2012.
The commission is inviting public comment on the draft, which is available at ijc.org/files/tinymce/uploaded/Publications/Draft_TAP.pdf.