Uptake into the Marine Food Chain
The long-term environmental effects from the disposal of toxic materials in the marine environment are documented by the EPA. These materials of concern exist in dangerous concentrations within the hulls of naval vessels and have lasting impacts on marine life,
acceptable under current EPA environmental risk-assessments.
a. Asbestos Studies have investigated the effects of asbestos on fish and indicate that asbestos may cause
kidney damage, decreased orientation and swimming ability, degradation of the lateral line, reduced growth and increased mortality.110 The BMP only requires the removal of loose asbestos and asbestos that may become loose during sinking. Large amounts of asbestos are allowed to remain onboard the vessel during sinking, and this asbestos enters the marine environment with clear potential to harm marine wildlife.
b. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) PCBs are persistent organic pollutants (POP) targeted for global phase-out and total destruction under the Stockholm Convention. Due to their longevity as a molecule, and their capacity to be attracted to fatty tissue and accumulate in the marine food chain, PCBs are perhaps the greatest concern of all shipboard contaminants. PCBs bind to sediments, bio- accumulate in fish and other animals and bio- magnify in the food chain, creating hazards at
As a result, people who ingest
contaminated fish may be exposed to dangerous
Batterman, A.L. and P.M. Cook. 1981; Belanger, S.E.,et al 1986; Belanger, S.E., et al 1990; Woodhead, A.D., et al 1983. 110
http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/af6d4571f3e2b16988 25650f0071180a/1e4f27736563fc3a882571db00661b15/$FILE/ 910-F- 99-001PCBS.pdf
levels of PCBs.112
In fact, due to the toxin’s
accumulation believe there PCBs. 113
properties, many scientists is no safe level of exposure to
PCBs have been implicated in: reduced primary productivity in phytoplankton, reduced hatchability of contaminated fish and bird eggs,
impairment efficiency in requires all
in fish, and reduced fertilization
The reefing BMP
liquid PCBs be
removed and all
50 parts However,
per million (ppm) of solid PCBs. many solid matrix PCB contaminated
materials containing onboard for sinking.
The Navy examined the ORISKANY artificial reef to determine the effects PCB leaching has on marine habitat and human health. The ORISKANY was environmentally cleaned in accordance with EPA requirements, yet an estimated 700 pounds of pure PCBs (above 50 ppm concentration) still remained onboard.115 The study determined PCB concentrations released into the waters surrounding the reef accumulated in the bodies of reef fish and are digested by recreational anglers and their families from eating fish caught at the reef.116
The EPA notes “PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals and have also been shown to cause a number of serious non- cancer health
National Guidance: Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to Create Artificial Reefs, May 2006, Pg. 35 112
http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/owcm.nsf/88fa11a23f885ef3882565 000062d635/a9578719c73ad1de882569ed00782e89?OpenDoc ument#r educe
114 Adams, J.A. and S. Slaughter-Williams. 1988; Brouwer, A., et al 1989; Clark, R.B. 1992.;den Beston, et al 1991.
Olsen, Erik, New York Times Leach Rate Study, Prospective Risk Assessment Model for ex-ORISKANY, US Navy. 115 116
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