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IchorFigure

Biomagnification/Bioaccumulation

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Ok I realize this is a forum for Objectivist topics and this really isn't related so feel free to junk this topic if the mods don't think it's pertinent. But I just think an Objectivist audience might be able to offer better more first-handed answers.

 

So my environment science class very quickly glossed offer this idea of biomagnification. It is the process by which toxins "magnify" as they accumulate going further up the food chain. This is a very common and basic subject I gather, but the content in class and even in the book gives very little info about how it's supposed to work.

 

My question is this: why is it only the harmful things like mercury "biomagnify" in the food chain? Why is it that components that could enhance a living things health don't get "magnified" as well?

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Ok I realize this is a forum for Objectivist topics and this really isn't related so feel free to junk this topic if the mods don't think it's pertinent. But I just think an Objectivist audience might be able to offer better more first-handed answers.

 

So my environment science class very quickly glossed offer this idea of biomagnification. It is the process by which toxins "magnify" as they accumulate going further up the food chain. This is a very common and basic subject I gather, but the content in class and even in the book gives very little info about how it's supposed to work.

 

My question is this: why is it only the harmful things like mercury "biomagnify" in the food chain? Why is it that components that could enhance a living things health don't get "magnified" as well?

Most likely because they are metabolized and broken down quickly. They are partly assimilated and partly excreted.  Substances like Mercury are not metabolized and they are not excreted efficiently either.

 

ruveyn

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