Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – another totally scary chemical term – seems to be something the bald eagle likes to consume. recently a study of Michigan’s bald eagle population discovered that they are the most contaminated birds on the planet. Banned flame retardant chemicals were found in their livers.The population of bald eagles in the region is stable, but the PBDE compounds have shown, in other birds, to impair reproduction, development, disrupt hormones, and even cause weird behavior.
I guess the most iconic animal in the United States won’t catch on fire too easily…
Originally, companies started putting PBDEs into furniture cushions, electronics and clothing in an effort to slow the spread of flames if they catch fire. Chemicals quickly built up in people and the earth. Despite a phase-out beginning in the early 2000s, PBDEs are still persistent. They are still found in the air, the dirt and yes, everyone on the planet.
The eagles were probably exposed to chemicals that ended up in water, and then in the fish that they eat. Because they are at the top of the food chain, they naturally tend to accumulate higher concentrations than living things lower down. This also makes them early warning indicators for these types of pollutants.
And who else is at the top of the food chain? That’s right, you and me.
Environmental Health News says: “PBDE concentrations were “among the highest found in liver tissues of any wildlife,” the authors wrote, with one eagle measuring 1,538 parts per billion PBDEs in its liver. Americans have some of the highest levels of PBDEs in their bodies worldwide, with studies of U.S. breast milk finding median PBDE concentrations of about 30 ppb, though the types of PBDEs vary.”
Ian: So.. what can we do when we are already contaminated? For me, I love my life so I’m committed to eating good clean food and as many detoxifying greens as possible. I eat meat to get the widest range of amino acids and I drink high H2 water and use high H2 supplements.