Alaska meltwater poses cancer risk for people who eat fish, media report
Phys.org, Alaska Native News, ScienceDaily and Lab Manager published a University of Maine news release on a recent study led by Kimberley Miner, a research assistant professor at the Climate Change Institute. Children in Alaska whose diet includes a lot of fish from rivers fed by the Eastern Alaska Mountain Range may have a long-term elevated risk for cancer because of insecticides — including DDT — in the meltwater. Even with low levels of organochlorine pollutants (OCPs) in glacial meltwater, the risk of cancer for youth and adults who rely on fish as a staple of their diet is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold limit, according to Miner. As Alaskan glaciers melt in the warming climate, Miner says the gradual release of these OCPs may continue to elevate watershed concentrations above the current level. “This secondary impact of climate change will be felt most strongly by children, and needs to be addressed in a comprehensive way,” said Miner, who’s also a research fellow with the Center for Climate and Security and a physical scientist at the Army Geospatial Research Laboratory in Virginia. Laboratory Equipment, News Medical, Arctic Today and Health Thoroughfare also reported on the study.