Meanwhile it was Posted by PuraKai Clothing on Wed, Jan 22, 2014. Talk about plastics and toxins in the ocean today. The blue whale is the largest creäture to ever roam the earth. They can weigh up to an astounding 330,000 pounds. That is as much as 24 elephants. More importantly, can grow to be longer than 100 feet. They are also estimated to live as long as humans.
So several years ago while fishing for tuna and yellow tail my friends and I came across the research vessel. I was talking with these scientists and watching them work. Then, I became infatuated with these magnificent creatures.
In addition, I even spent many days off the coast of Mexico. We were in the open ocean trying to get video of them underwater. However after 50 or so dives I gave up. Look, with a cruising speed of up to 20 knots these whales turned out to be very difficult to get in front of in the open ocean.
And while I never got to see them underwater I’ve felt a kinship, a connection. Yes, just watching them from the surface the last ten or so years. However, I never thought that a creäture living its life in the seemingly endless blue ocean could connect to me. More noteworthy, or more appropriately the products I consumed. Yet, that’s precisely what science has recently revealed.
In addition, Blue whale ear wax, like rings of a tree. It can be used as an indicator of growth. Also and more noteworthy, using chemical analysis scientists can decide the chemicals a whale came in contact with. That’s during its life. Excluding in this case a 15-year-old blue whale that died due to a ship strike.
As stated in the study found here:
“These unprecedented lifetime profiles (i.e., birth to death) were reconstructed with a 6-mo resolution for a range of analytes including cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone (developmental hormone), organic contaminants (e.g., pesticides and flame retardants), and mercury.”
“Early periods of the reconstructed contaminant profiles for pesticides (such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes and chlordanes), polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers show significant maternal transfer occurred at 0–12 mo. The total lifetime organic contaminant burden measured between the earplug (sum of contaminants in laminae layers) and blubber samples from the same organism were similar.”
This unique approach to quantify contaminant lifetime profiles for an individual blue whale never happened because it is extremely rare and difficult to get lifetime chemical profiles for most of earth’s animals. And by allowing us to understand accumulating chemicals from birth to death we can get a greater idea of their impact, and hopefully provide lawmakers with information so they can take steps to cut them.
While no one can decide the impact of the contaminants on the health of the blue whales today I think we could all agree if a blue whale in the open ocean can bio-accumulate flame retardants and pesticides in its blubber and ear wax then the ocean is either a lot smaller than one might imagine or we use a heck of a lot more chemicals then we might imagine. (The fact is we use over 1 billion pounds of pesticides in the United State each year and about 5.6 billion pounds used worldwide.)
In either case, it seems this is another example of “We’re all connected on land and sea”. And the question for us today is this:
In conclusion, is it acceptable to have these chemicals accumulating by the billions of pounds on our agricultural lands? Then seeping into our drinking water? And when it rains dumping into our rivers, lakes, streams and oceans, and ultimately accumulating in a blue whale’s ear wax in the open ocean?
I think we would all agree this is not acceptable, its insanity. So what can we as people actually do about it? Our job is to make informed decisions and embrace companies that are making products or services in ways that are less impactful.
Finally, I never could have imagined that a blue whale could be connected to organic cotton clothing. However the science is pretty clear. Thereby, to support organic agriculture instead of synthetic chemical based farming you’re helping to keep synthetic pesticides and herbicides off the fields. Therefore, which will help keep them out of a blue whale in the open ocean.