One topic that my class was studying about earlier this week was toxins, how they get into the food chain, and how people living in the Arctic are affected by toxins. My class watched this video about effects of toxins in the environment and at the beginning, it mentioned a phenomenon known as "The Grasshopper Effect".
The Grasshopper Effect is when all kinds of different pollutants evaporate into the air from heavy industrial factories and they reach the Arctic when the clouds full of evaporated toxins are blown to the north by winds. Then, the pollutants in the clouds fall to the ground as rain or snow once they reach the Arctic. The toxic rain then falls into the oceans and become small particles of nutrients that get eaten up by plankton, which get eaten by fish and the toxins eventually go up the food chain until they reach the predator: people. When the seals eat the toxic fish and Inuit people in Alaska hunt the seal and eat the meat with concentrations of pollutants. This causes the people to get lots of toxic concentrations inside their bodies.
Among those that eat the toxic meat, the ones that are most affected are the women and their babies because when pollutants hidden inside the seal meat get into a woman's body, her breast milk becomes concentrated with toxins. Then her child that drinks the toxic milk cannot get all the nutrients and formula needed to grow strong and healthy because the child's body isn't as strong as their mother's body. This makes it more easy for the baby to get affected by the pollutants and far more intensely.
In fact, about 90% of Inuit children have levels of elevated lead inside their bodies. In children's brains, there are veins that help them think properly and be healthy as they develop through time. If they get run with toxins like lead or mercury, their brains are damaged and not make the kid's brain think properly. When this happens, it causes the child to become antisocial and have behavorial issues, maybe like autism.
At the end of the movie, I was so amazed and interested in everything I had learned that I decided to share it on my blog. We should stop using factories that make the pollutants go into the air towards the native people of the Arctic.
Take action today to stop the toxic pollution in the clouds!
See you later, Brianna