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Flame retardants transferred at high levels to baby whales

May 21, 2012

“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 of polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in arctic beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Environmental toxicology and chemistry / SETAC, 31(2), 296–300. doi:10.1002/etc.750