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Toxic Dolphins Found in Miami

bottlenose dolphin

Scientists found unusually high levels of flame retardant in dolphin blubber.

The closer the dolphins lived to downtown Miami, the more of the chemical was concentrated in them. The flame retardant can cause sterility in dolphins. Brominated flame retardants are applied to furniture, clothes and electronics to prevent them from burning. They also help slow the ignition of items that are in a burning room.

Unfortunately they have been used so much they are showing up in unintended places, with potentially dire consquences. Bottlenose dolphins accumulate this type of chemical, and PCBS, and mercury. Flame retardants alone have been found to cause death of unborn dolphin calves for first time mothers. The flame retardants accumulated in the mother are passed to the calf during gestation. The United States produces a large amount of the chemical, “The U.S. has historically led the world production of these man-made chemicals and was responsible for about 50% of the total global demand in 2001.”

Flame retardants are also found in humans. At this time it is not known conclusively what impact the chemical could have on human health. Some believe it might interfere with childhood brain development. Others say it could disrupt normal immune function.

The NBC Miami story states, “Pretty much everyone who has eaten seafood has flame retardant in them, but scientists don’t know how much would be too much before it turns harmful.”

A type of flame retardant was banned this year in Washington state.

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Image Credit: Public Domain




8 comments
  1. Nancy

    Thanks Jake. I’m going to let people know more about this on http://trends-by-mindbridge.blogspot.com/.

    Thom Hartmann recently pointed out that the problem with capitalism is that corporations internalize profits and externalize the costs….

    This corporation is probably doing fine, but how joyful would life be if we killed off all the dolphins? Meanwhile, we still don’t know the cause of autism. It is now growing every year, and when I was young, I didn’t know any family with an autistic child.

    Thanks for watching out for us,
    Nancy

  2. Rubberrecycle

    Great idea to compile a great list of environmental Twitter accounts. I was wondering if you would include a broader list via categories like Recycling, Save earth, Energy Star, you can go on and on for for great environmental friendly and Eco friendly Twitter accounts.

    Thanks

  3. Brandon

    So the dolphins won’t catch fire?

    Seriously though, that’s not good, there needs to be someone needs to keep a check on this stuff and make sure it’s not polluting our oceans.

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