Kensington Presbyterian Church, 6225 Godfrey Ave., Montreal, NDG
Monday, December 1 - 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Unusually High Levels of Flame Retardant Chemicals in
Gulls from Montreal and the Canadian Arctic
With: Jonathan Verreault, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Avian Toxicology; Centre de recherche en toxicologie de l’environnement (TOXEN), Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC
Gulls have been used extensively as sentinels of environmental contaminant exposure and biological effects. Flame retardants have becomenotorious in recent years These chemicals are added in a wide range of consumer products, such as electronic/electric equipment, cars, and upholstered furniture, to meet fire safety standards. These include the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), but also a growing number of alternative or replacement products to the recently banned PBDE mixtures. PBDEs and some new flame retardants have been found at occasionally high concentrations in gulls from industrialized areas including Montreal. These chemicals can also travel long distances before ending up in the tissues of Arctic wildlife such as gulls and polar bears. Where do flame retardants come from? How do they get into our ecosystems and reach the Arctic regions? What are their impacts on ecosystems and birds? During this presentation, Jonathan Verreault, specialist in environmental toxicology, will share his research on these toxic chemicals found in Montreal and Arctic gulls.