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PCB Bioaccumulation and Cetaceans

What are PCBs? PCB stands for Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and represents a grouping of man-made chemicals that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine. PCBs were first produced in the late 1920’s / early 1930’s, and were continued to be used in products until its ban in 1979 (Toxic Substances Control Act) due to the toxicity of PCBs and its negative impacts on biological organisms. There are a range of PCBs, with varying consistencies (from a thin liquid to a thick wax) as well as varying degrees of toxicity. PCBs were very popularly used in a large variety of products due to their “non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point, and electrical insulating properties” (EPA). Some examples of products listed on the EPA’s website for things that previously contained PCBs include: · Pigments and dyes · Oil-based paint · Caulking · Plastics ·…

Biomagnification of Pollution in Bottlenose Dolphins

The North Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins that reside in the Cape May, NJ waters are at the top of their food chain. With no viable predators, our dolphins are free to rule the waters, while consuming whatever they choose. As this may seem advantageous for our dolphins, it has actually become a serious health problem. Like…