Hazardous substances

Hazardous substances, as organic pollutants, heavy metals and radioactive substances are mainly a result of human activity. The reason why these substances are so dangerous is that they are persistent and easily absorbed by living organisms, and accumulate in the marine food web. This means that the higher in the food chain an organism is, the more toxins accumulates in that organism. This is also called bioaccumulation. These accumulated substances may have negative effects on the organism´s reproduction, development and also cause disease. Examples of these hazardous substances are; lead, mercury, DDT and Tributyltin substances (TBT).

Picture: An accumulator dumped in the ocean

Sources

Lundberg, C. et al (2012). Undervattensmiljö i Norra Östersjön – Viktigt att tänka på vid havsnära planering. Närings-, trafik- och miljöcentralen, Helsingfors.

Sedin, A (2002). Miljööversikt – Havets tillstånd i Kvarkenområdet. Kvarken miljö, Vasa.