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ACROSS ISLAND FLUX
OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

A research team from UP Los Baņos and UP Diliman is conducting a study on across island flux of hazardous chemicals, including mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and copper (Cu). Comprising this team are Dr. Zenaida Batac-Catalan of the UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, SESAM Dean; Dr. Fernando Siringan of the UPD National Institute of Geological Sciences; and Dr. Cesar Villanoy of the UPD Marine Science Institute.

This project will determine the flow of materials such as persistent hazardous chemicals within and across the island source. The project site consists of the coastal areas of the island source, Marinduque, and across it, Quezon, and the waters between them. Bioaccumulation experiments are being conducted, employing the most common shellfish, and magnification of heavy metals is being determined in at least two herbivores and carnivores which are the most preferred by the consumers.

The findings of this study can serve as basis for policy modification of managing the Philippine marine environment considering the unique properties of being an archipelagic country. For instance, the influence of water movement between islands in the transfer of pollutants is barely addressed in the management of marine resources.

The three heavy metals being studied tend to bioaccumulate and get magnified in food chains. In addition to causing different diseases (e.g., cancer), these chemicals are known to influence the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems of vertebrates, including man.

Secondary data from different sources are being gathered and assessed. This involves the collection of data from different agencies and institutions in Marinduque and Quezon as well as coordination with local government units, national agencies, and identified institutions. Internet sources are also being accessed.

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