PCBs Hurt Marine Life   2 comments

Jumping Humpback WhaleOften times, the focus of PCB-related water contamination and health issues centers on humans. We pay much less attention to marine life, however, they are also adversely affected by our pollution.

Take for example the whale population, which has steadily declined worldwide for years. Autopsies have revealed that whales are accumulating a disturbing amount of toxic chemicals, including staggering levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Researchers at the University of Montreal examined 73 whale carcasses and found that,

Forty percent of the animals bore tumors, 14 of which were cancerous, representing more than half of all malignancies ever reported in cetaceans. There was also a high incidence of stomach ulcers, including three cases of perforated ulcers, a condition never before documented in whales. Forty-five percent of the females produced only small amounts of milk because of infection, necrosis or tumors in their mammary glands. Lesions of the thyroid and adrenal glands were common. And many animals seemed to suffer from immunity: a disproportionate number had opportunistic bacterial and protozoan infections. (Controlling Pollution)

These disturbing findings remind us that our pollution not only harms us, but also a greater ecosystem. Other species are subjected to man-made contaminants, and we owe it to them, as well as ourselves, to keep the environment clean.


Posted October 19, 2010 by lymphomactivist in Uncategorized

2 responses to “PCBs Hurt Marine Life

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  1. This is incredibly sad. We’re slowly killing off so many other beautiful creatures with pollution. It’s just not right.

  2. Pingback: Man-Made Toxins Make Their Way into Arctic Seabird Populations « LymphomActivist's Blog

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