Killer whales risk extinction off Europe from banned chemicals

Handout photo of a female killer whale and her newborn calf are seen in Grays HarborBy Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) – Killer whales are at risk of extinction off industrialized regions of Europe from poisonous chemicals banned decades ago that are still leaching into the seas, scientists said on Thursday. The study, which took samples from 1,000 killer whales, dolphins and porpoises, urged tougher rules for disposal of toxic man-made PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) that were used in paints, electrical equipment and construction until the 1980s. "It's really looking bleak … We think there is a very high extinction risk for killer whales as a species in industrialized regions of Europe," lead author Paul Jepson of the Zoological Society of London, told a telephone news conference.

January 15, 2016 5:35 am

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