27 Feb 2019 - Plastics are an increasing cause of concern due to potential sources of chemicals that disrupt hormones and affect the growth and reproductive success of a wide variety of wildlife, according to a new report.
Wildlife in the oceans and on land are subject to cocktails of pollutants known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), but little is still known about how these common substances interact in the environment despite years of research. The increasing problem of plastic waste breaking down in fragile ecosystems is now one of the key areas of research for scientists.
Killer whales with high levels of pollutants known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which were used in many plastics before being banned globally in 2004, have shown reproductive problems. A pod off the west coast of Scotland known to have high levels of PCBs has failed to produce a single calf in 25 years.
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