Killer whales and the scientists working to save them

There is no documented case of a wild orca killing a human. It’s time we returned the favor by protecting the health, habitat, and viability of this highly intelligent, vocal, social and powerful species. Orca face many threats including degradation of their hunting habitats, overfishing of their food, disturbance from sea vessels, warming oceans, and chemical pollution. They are exposed to toxic chemicals, some of which have been banned for decades and some in current use. Dr. Peter Ross is…

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Upcoming workshop on PCBs in schools

More than 700 New York City public schools are believed to contain PCB-containing lighting fixtures and/or PCB containing caulk/sealants. Prior to remedial actions in pilot program schools, students were inhaling about six times the amount of PCBs that come from dietary sources. Might students attending schools in other locales be similarly exposed? What is the latest research on inhaled PCBs? In September, the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) will hold its annual meeting in Monterey CA. The meeting’s theme…

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Flame retardants transferred at high levels to baby whales

“Baby beluga in the deep blue sea” is born with high levels of flame retardants A new study from University of Victoria found that arctic beluga whales transferred about 11% of their polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) blubber burden to their near-term fetuses. The implications of this exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds during a critical developmental stage in the unborn whales are unclear. Full reference: Desforges, J.-P. W., Ross, P. S., & Loseto, L. L. (2012). Transplacental transfer…

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New York Times: Are you safe on that sofa?

19 May 2012

If you want a case study of everything that is wrong with money politics, this is it. Chances are that if you’re sitting on a couch right now, it contains flame retardants. This will probably do no good if your house catches fire — although it may release toxic smoke…

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