Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears

Date:
September 5, 2006
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Exposure to high levels of environmental pollutants called organohalogen compounds (OHCs) seems to reduce the size of sexual organs in male and female polar bears, researchers report in an article scheduled for the Sept. 15 issue of the ACS journal, Environmental Science & Technology. OHCs include dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and some pesticides.

Exposure to high levels of environmental pollutants called organohalogen compounds (OHCs) seems to reduce the size of sexual organs in male and female polar bears, researchers report in an article scheduled for the Sept. 15 issue of the ACS journal, Environmental Science & Technology.

Related Articles


OHCs include dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and some pesticides.

Christian Sonne and colleagues checked 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears for a correlation between OHC levels in body tissue and size of sexual organs.

Sonne's group did the study to close gaps in knowledge about the OHC's possible effects on reproduction in polar bears, a vulnerable population because of their low reproductive rates. The bears have elevated OHC levels, due to a diet that includes seals, which accumulate large amounts of OHCs in their blubber. Past studies have linked OHCs to various health effects in the bears.

The new study reports a connection between OHC levels and reduced size of the uterus in female bears and reduced size of the testis and baculum (penis bone) in males. A large baculum is critical for successful mating in an arctic climate, the researchers note, and even slight decreases may interfere with reproduction.

"Furthermore, similar physiological impacts from organohalogen-pollutant exposure may be manifested on the reproductive tract of humans relying on OHC-contaminated food resources," the study states.

Reference: "Xenoendocrine Pollutants May Reduce Size of Sexual Organs in East Greenland Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)." Environmental Science & Technology


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904100814.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2006, September 5). High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904100814.htm
American Chemical Society. "High Levels Of Pollutants May Decrease Sexual Organ Size In Polar Bears." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060904100814.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins