King of the Ill
Orcas top polar bears as most toxic Arctic mammals
Orcas have officially surpassed polar bears as most toxic mammal in the Arctic. Wo0t! Researchers tested blubber samples and found them permeated with pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — highly persistent toxic chemicals also found in the breast milk of Inuit mothers — and a flame retardant linked to nervous and reproductive disorders. “The Arctic is now a chemical sink,” said the WWF’s Colin Butfield, “Chemicals from products that we use in our homes every day are contaminating Arctic wildlife.” He urged European Union ministers to approve REACH, a tough new chemical testing and registration law recently passed by the E.U. parliament. But REACH’s strongest provisions may be foundering under heavy pressure from the chemical industry. We refer recalcitrant lawmakers to the 1977 film Orca. We’re telling you, don’t mess with these creatures.