A newly published study in “Science” magazine revealed that increased levels of PCBs could lead to the extinction of half the orca population over the next 30-50 years. PCB’s were largely used in the electrical industry for insulation during the 1930’s until they started to become phased out in the 70’s and 80’s due to environmental concerns. Today, PCBs still exist in our waters and are making their way up the marine food chain. As a result, PCB concentrations in orcas can be over 100 times the safe amount, resulting in severe damage to their reproductive organs, cancer or harming their immune systems. Climate change has accelerated the presence of PCB concentrations in these mammals by shifting the abundance of these chemicals in different groups of organisms. The orcas eat these organisms and the chemicals pass to their calves through nursing. It has been recorded that the orca population has been cut in half in highly industrialized and contaminated areas of the world such as Brazil, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Northeast Pacific and the UK. Considering that orcas take 20 years to reach sexual maturity and are slow to reproduce, the need for action is even more urgent. Who do you think should be responsible to eliminate the effects of PCBs? ▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎ #YEARSproject #killerwhale #dying #meltingice #orca #pcbs #UK #calves #milk #mercury #industrialization #climatechange #straitofgibraltar #freewilly #extinction #savetheorcas #seapanda #ocean #antarctica - The Years Project

A newly published study in “Science” magazine revealed that increased levels of PCBs could lead to the extinction of half the orca population over the next 30-50 years. PCB’s were largely used in the electrical industry for insulation during the 1930’s until they started to become phased out in the 70’s and 80’s due to environmental concerns. Today, PCBs still exist in our waters and are making their way up the marine food chain. As a result, PCB concentrations in orcas can be over 100 times the safe amount, resulting in severe damage to their reproductive organs, cancer or harming their immune systems. Climate change has accelerated the presence of PCB concentrations in these mammals by shifting the abundance of these chemicals in different groups of organisms. The orcas eat these organisms and the chemicals pass to their calves through nursing. It has been recorded that the orca population has been cut in half in highly industrialized and contaminated areas of the world such as Brazil, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Northeast Pacific and the UK. Considering that orcas take 20 years to reach sexual maturity and are slow to reproduce, the need for action is even more urgent. Who do you think should be responsible to eliminate the effects of PCBs? ▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎ #YEARSproject #killerwhale #dying #meltingice #orca #pcbs #UK #calves #milk #mercury #industrialization #climatechange #straitofgibraltar #freewilly #extinction #savetheorcas #seapanda #ocean #antarctica