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Why is High Persistence Alone a Major Cause of Concern?

preprint
submitted on 05.11.2018 and posted on 06.11.2018 by Ian T. Cousins, Carla A. Ng, Zhanyun Wang, Martin Scheringer
High persistence (environmental degradation half-lives of several years or more) has important implications for the behavior of chemicals in the environment. Persistent chemicals are distributed widely, often globally, and reach (much) higher concentrations than short-lived chemicals emitted at the same rate. We illustrate these features of highly persistent chemicals using a unit-world environmental fate model. Over the last decades, persistent chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls and poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances have caused serious impacts on the environment and human health. We argue that high persistence should be given particular emphasis in chemicals assessment and management and that highly persistent chemicals should be regulated on the basis of their persistence alone (P-sufficient approach)

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

scheringer@chem.ethz.ch

Institution

ETH Zürich

Country

Switzerland

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0002-0809-7826

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest to declare.

Version Notes

Version 1.0, dated November 5, 2018.

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in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts

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