Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polar bears ill from accumulated environmental toxins

Date:
October 14, 2011
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Industrial chemicals are being transported from the industrialized world to the Arctic via air and sea currents. Here, the cocktail of environmental toxins is absorbed by the sea's food chains, of which the polar bear is the top predator.

Industrial chemicals are being transported from the industrialized world to the Arctic via air and sea currents. Here, the cocktail of environmental toxins is absorbed by the sea's food chains, of which the polar bear is the top predator.
Credit: UryadnikovS / Fotolia

Industrial chemicals are being transported from the industrialized world to the Arctic via air and sea currents. Here, the cocktail of environmental toxins is absorbed by the sea's food chains, of which the polar bear is the top predator.

"The accumulated industrial chemicals cause diseases in the polar bears which do not lead to their immediate deaths. On the other hand, the toxins damage the bones and organs of the polar bears, their immune systems and not least their reproductive systems. However, the harm suffered by the population of polar bears in eastern Greenland is not yet fully understood," says Christian Sonne.

Together with researchers from LIFE -- the Faculty of Life Sciences and Aarhus University, Christian Sonne has undertaken the first meta study of ten years of research conducted up until 2010 into the effects of contaminants on the health of the species. At the same time, he has analysed tissue and bone samples from about 100 east Greenlandic polar bears.

Christian Sonne and his colleagues from LIFE -- the Faculty of Life Sciences have previously conducted controlled experiments on the effects of environmental toxins on Arctic foxes and Greenlandic sled dogs. Both species top the Arctic food chain and are genetically and developmentally closely related to the polar bear.

The experiments showed that the damage seen in the polar bears was also evident in the groups of Arctic foxes and dogs which were fed environmental toxins, but not in the control groups.

The title of Christian Sonne's doctoral thesis is: 'Health effects from long-range transported contaminants in Arctic top predators: An integrated review based on studies of polar bears and relevant model species'.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Polar bears ill from accumulated environmental toxins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013121709.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2011, October 14). Polar bears ill from accumulated environmental toxins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013121709.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Polar bears ill from accumulated environmental toxins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013121709.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
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