Are marine environmental pollutants influencing global patterns of human disease?

M. H. Depledge, J. Tyrrell, L. E. Fleming, S. T. Holgate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Thousands of toxic chemicals, many of which pollute marine ecosystems, potentially cause diseases, but building a consensus view of the significance of human body burdens of environmental chemicals is proving difficult. Causative mechanisms are often lacking. Older members of the population, of which there are increasing numbers worldwide, accumulate higher body burdens than the young, and may be especially at risk. It also remains unclear when crucially sensitive periods for chemical exposures occur across the life course. Very early exposures may lead to diseases much later on. The current lack of robust science upon which to base high quality expert advice is hampering effective policymaking that leads to further reductions in marine pollution, greater protection of marine life and lowering of risks to human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-95
Number of pages3
JournalMarine Environmental Research
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Body burdens
  • Chemical contaminants
  • Human diseases
  • Marine management
  • Marine pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Pollution


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