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Apr 26, 2018 - Science and innovations
FEFU researchers to study the degree of pollution of the Far Eastern seas with hazardous toxic substances

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Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) will conduct a comprehensive study of the degree of pollution of the Far East seas by hazardous toxic substances. The new research project of the FEFU researchers was awarded a three-year grant on the results of the competition of the Russian Science Foundation (RSF).

The project has been headed by Olga Lukyanova, the Professor of the FEFU School of Natural Sciences, lead research fellow at the TINRO Center (Pacific Fisheries Research Center). According to her, pollution of marine ecosystems is one of the most important ecological threats. Persistent organic substances—organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)—that are dumped into the sea and enter animal organisms as a result of active economic activity in the Pacific Ocean are particularly dangerous.

"The concentration of OCPs in marine organisms, first of all, in fish is especially dangerous, due to people actively use these seafoods as food. The accumulated action of OCPs and PCBs is manifested in the form of mutagenic after effect: both in the adult population, and in the transmission from mother to child in utero and in feeding. The feature of these substances is that they are contained in low concentration, but are highly toxic. That is why it is so important to study and monitor them," said Olga Lukyanova.

As part of the project, the FEFU researchers plan to determine the concentration of 'traditional' and identify 'new' toxicants in the Far Eastern seas. The studies will assess the risks of local seafood impact to the health of the inhabitants of the coastal regions of the Far East, including the small indigenous peoples of the North. The new information will also complement the global ocean pollution data network and show the environmental risk to marine organisms.