Persistent organic pollutants found in the Tibetan Plateau

Photo Credit:  Steve Hicks Photo Credit: Steve Hicks

A new study published in Environmental Science & Technology shows that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are present even in the pristine Tibetan Plateau.  POPs are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation, and include such pesticides as DDT, aldrin, and chlordane.  Although these chemicals have been banned in many areas, their long life prevents them from degrading, and POP traces have been found throughout the world.  This study found that POPs can be transported by weather such as the Indian Monsoon fluctuation patterns to areas that had previously thought to be uncontaminated.  The results of this study reveal the alarmingly widespread impact of the use of synthetic pesticides.