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“Long-Banned Toxics Are Still Accumulating In Great Lakes Birds”

“Decades ago several bird species in the Great Lakes—including the iconic bald eagle—faced an uncertain future because toxic chemicals were threatening their populations.

While several bans and policies have offered some protection, the same chemicals threatening these birds 60 years ago continue to accumulate in their bodies—and new chemical threats are adding to their toxic burdens, according to two new studies.

The two studies add to evidence that pollutants not only persist in the Great Lakes, but continue to travel up food chains to reach and endanger apex predators; and suggest that birds in the Great Lakes continue to impart toxic loads to their offspring—results that do not bode well for long-term bird populations. In addition, as birds are sentinel species, the studies show how previous and existing regulations have been inadequate at protecting all biota of the Great Lakes, including humans, from the harms of these industrial chemical pollutants.”

Hannah Seo reports for Environmental Health News September 22, 2020.