We’re talking one in fifty polar bears!! From the article – “The arctic is now a chemical sink.”
Scary how chemicals get concentrated as you go up the food chain. I’ve given up my addiction to having a spicy ahi donburi (yummy raw tuna over sushi rice) almost every day for lunch, out of concern about the mercury content.
Wildlife researchers have found new evidence that Arctic polar bears, already gravely threatened by the melting of their habitat because of global warming, are being poisoned by chemical compounds commonly used in Europe and North America to reduce the flammability of household furnishings like sofas, clothing and carpets.
A team of scientists from Canada, Alaska, Denmark and Norway is sounding the alarm about the flame retardants, known as polybrominated diphenyls, or PBDEs, saying that significant deposits have recently been found in the fatty tissues of polar bears, especially in eastern Greenland and Norway’s Svalbard islands.
“The Arctic is now a chemical sink,” declared Colin Butfield, a campaign leader for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, which last month indicated that killer whales in the Arctic were also suffering from elevated levels of contamination with fire retardants as well as other man-made compounds. “Chemicals from products that we use in our homes every day are contaminating Arctic wildlife.”