Skip directly to: content | left navigation | search

Great Lakes

Human Health Effects Research Program

Chemicals of Concern

The "critical Great Lakes pollutants" identified by the International Joint Commission (IJC) are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), dieldrin, toxaphene, mirex, methylmercury, benzo[a]pyrene (a member of a class of substances known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs], hexachlorobenzene (HCB), furans, dioxins, and alkylated lead.

These PTSs are persistent materials, and many are lipophilic so that they bioaccumulate in biota and biomagnify at successive levels of the food web (IJC, 1983; Hicks, 1996). The ATSDR Great Lakes Human Health Effects Research Program (GLHHERP) focused on these 11 critical pollutants as well as others toxic chemicals of concern, e.g., arsenic, cadmium.

Persistent Toxic Substances in the Great Lakes Basin

Organochlorine compounds
DDT and its metabolites
Dioxins (2,3,7,8,-TCDD)
Hexachlorobenzene (HCD)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Heavy Metals
Alkylated Lead

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

This page was updated on 03/27/2008