Perhaps you’ve heard of persistent organic pollutants (POP); perhaps you haven’t heard them called by that name before. It refers to environmental toxins that are highly toxic to humans and the environment, resist degradation and persist in the environment, can be stored in human or animal fat, and can accumulate in both terrestrial and aquatic systems. DDT, PCBs and dioxin, a toxic chemical found in Agent Orange, are some well-known examples of persistent organic pollutants.
POPs are extremely harmful and can lead to reproductive issues, birth defects, behavioral issues and even death. They are suspected carcinogens and can accumulate in the environment and groundwater and can be stored in adipose tissue of humans and animals – thus leading to potential human consumption of POPs through any number of sources. A recent study by the University of Texas found high levels of POPs in milk, farmed salmon and sardines. There is also strong correlation between POP exposure and diabetes type II, as well as cardiovascular diseases and obesity – even in small amounts. It may be wise to eliminate conventionally farmed foods from your diet as the levels of contamination rise and more information on the links between persistent organic pollutants and disease continues to surface.