Impact of pollution on species

Causing mutations and fertility problems

Pollutants do not recognize international boundaries. Now, chemicals used thousands of kilometres away from the pristine expanses of the Arctic and Antarctic can be found in the blood of some native animals there.
Polar Bears, female with cubs. Churchill, Manitoba Canada.  rel=
Polar Bears, female with cubs. Churchill, Manitoba Canada.
© WWF / Kevin SCHAFER

26x increase of amount of pesticide sprayed on our crops in the last 50 years

These chemicals can cause mutations and fertility problems - a fact evidenced already in the reproductive organs of fish, alligators, and polar bears. And it affects us too: according to some sources, in Europe, human breast milk passes on more dioxin to our babies than is legally allowed for cow's milk. Even with this knowledge, the amount of pesticide sprayed on our crops around the world has increased 26x in the last 50 years.

Some impacts of pollutants on species:

  • Harbour porpoises in the Baltic and North Seas as well as in Danish, Icelandic, and Norwegian coastal waters are being heavily contaminated with perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and to a lesser extent with perfluorocarboxylates. PFOS is a persistent organic pollutant. There is concern that it could pose health risks to wildlife and people.
  • In 2004, Norwegian scientists reported to have found the commonly used chemical deca-BDE (deca-brominated diphenyl ether) in polar bears and gulls on the remote Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen. These findings, far from any known source, contradict previous industry claims that deca-BDE does not build up in humans and wildlife.

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