01 Apr '12, 9am

Polar Bear Study Proves International PCB Ban Working

Polar Bear Study Proves International PCB Ban Working

Martin Lopatka /CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 In 2004, faced with incontrovertible evidence that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were contaminating the farthest reaches of the environment, the international community finally acted to ban the synthetic chemicals. A team led by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) biologist Jenny Bytingsvik just published data from a ten-year follow up on a 1998 study of PCBs and polar bears which demonstrates that the ban is working. PCB levels in polar bear plasma have dropped as much as 59% in cubs and 55% in their mothers. The lower levels remain above the threshold of concern for neurological problems, lowered intelligence levels, and fertility decreases among other effects. Of high concern in polar bears, PCBs interfere with proper operation of thyroid hormones, critical for metabolic control that is essential for survival in the h...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/polar-bear-s...

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