The rapid deterioration of the world’s major ecosystems has intensified the need for effective monitoring and development of operational indicators of ecosystem health, and the extension of health to describe regional ecosystems is a response to accumulating evidence that human-dominated ecosystems have become highly dysfunctional. The Lagoon of Venice is probably one of the world’s best-known examples of an ecosystem that has been historically influenced by human intervention since the XVth century. The area has a long history of industrial activity (even recent, mainly after World War II), with oil refining and several chemical production plants around the Lagoon. Only recently has Venice also been recognised because of its environmental problems, mainly due to POPs accumulating in sediments and seafood, which has aroused local concern. It is well-known that one important effect of ecosystem degradation is an increased risk to the health of human populations. In the case of POPs, the simplest way for humans to be exposed is through the consumption of food contaminated by dioxins and PCBs. Due to bio-accumulation and long-term exposure (additives) to these pollutants, even minimal doses of dioxins and PCBs can result in negative effects on health. Human health should thus be understood within an ecological framework as an expression of the life-supporting capacity of the environment. Consequently, human health becomes an important criterion of sustainability – one which, over time, signals whether we are satisfactorily sustaining the social and ecological realms. This paper gathers together recent data on dioxins and PCBs, related both to the environment and to human health, in order to emphasize the need for intervention.

Is the Lagoon of Venice healty? A look at budgets and pathways of POPs in Venice

MOLINAROLI, Emanuela;
2004

Abstract

The rapid deterioration of the world’s major ecosystems has intensified the need for effective monitoring and development of operational indicators of ecosystem health, and the extension of health to describe regional ecosystems is a response to accumulating evidence that human-dominated ecosystems have become highly dysfunctional. The Lagoon of Venice is probably one of the world’s best-known examples of an ecosystem that has been historically influenced by human intervention since the XVth century. The area has a long history of industrial activity (even recent, mainly after World War II), with oil refining and several chemical production plants around the Lagoon. Only recently has Venice also been recognised because of its environmental problems, mainly due to POPs accumulating in sediments and seafood, which has aroused local concern. It is well-known that one important effect of ecosystem degradation is an increased risk to the health of human populations. In the case of POPs, the simplest way for humans to be exposed is through the consumption of food contaminated by dioxins and PCBs. Due to bio-accumulation and long-term exposure (additives) to these pollutants, even minimal doses of dioxins and PCBs can result in negative effects on health. Human health should thus be understood within an ecological framework as an expression of the life-supporting capacity of the environment. Consequently, human health becomes an important criterion of sustainability – one which, over time, signals whether we are satisfactorily sustaining the social and ecological realms. This paper gathers together recent data on dioxins and PCBs, related both to the environment and to human health, in order to emphasize the need for intervention.
Organohalogen Compounds
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/15322
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