Contaminants and pollution
(Telegraph, 2 January 2011) -- Although they live in the Arctic wilderness, the bears were found to have high levels of pollution because of the toxic food chain, scientists say. This is because industrial pollution from Europe, America and Asia is dispersed by air and ocean currents and concentrated over the Arctic. The smaller animals are all affected by the chemicals, but this is magnified as they go up the food chain - ending with the bears, shows research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Studies found that along with bears, three species of whales, ringed seals, Stellar sea lions, walrus, mink and arctic fox all had high levels of pollutants such as PCBs and brominated flame retardants. Only the bears and a species of gull in Norway were found to be suffering stress from the contamination, but scientists say this is simply due to lack of data, and not an indication the pollutants are not harmful.
Posted 8 January 2011; 5:37:17 PM. Permalink