A Bay RMP study employed a cutting edge analytical technique to detect low levels of five unmonitored compounds in wildlife of San Francisco Bay. San Francisco Bay wildlife were tested for previously unmonitored contaminants using a non-targeted analysis that screens mainly for long-lived, fat-soluble, chlorine- and bromine-rich chemicals. Bay mussel and harbor seal samples contained five contaminants not previously identified in Bay wildlife, and for which toxicity is largely unknown. The detection of these compounds suggests that the original or “parent” contaminants may not always be the most important chemical to monitor in wildlife.
Most of the Bay chemical contamination was from high priority contaminants that the RMP already monitors, or closely related compounds. This suggests that many of the highest priority persistent chlorinated and brominated chemicals have already been identified, with key contaminants regularly monitored.
Download the fact sheet for more details on this Bay RMP project.
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More than 100,000 chemicals have been registered or approved for commercial use in the US. For many of these chemicals, major information gaps limit evaluations of their potential risks, and environmental monitoring of these chemicals has not been required by regulatory agencies. Nevertheless, researchers and government agencies have begun to collect occurrence, fate, and toxicity data for a number of these chemicals.