Hunting in Canada:
is an alarming trend that is on the increase. Many arctic animals
such as beluga whales, seals, seabirds, and polar bears are
affected. The higher up in the food chain an animal is, the more
infected they become. This is due to the predator consuming all of
the chemicals from their prey.
Polar bears are heavily
contaminated with extremely harmful chemicals such as PCBs &
pesticides. Other chemicals include flame retardant, arsenic,
mercury, lead & fluorinated chemicals. These chemicals
accumulate in fatty tissues and readily pass through the walls of
Chemicals such as the
above cause huge disruptions in the natural hormonal
balance. This change in hormones influences behavioral
changes . One example is the modification of testosterone
concentrations in male polar bears. Even more disturbing is that
these chemicals modify the white and red blood cell count. The
immune system is often weakened and at times is compromised. With a
compromised immune system the polar bear may not be able to produce
a sufficient number of antibodies to fight off an infectious
When beluga whales wash
ashore they often have to be disposed of as hazardous waste. This
should be a clear indication that there is a man-made problem.
In humans high
concentrations of PCBs has been linked to birth defects. There is no
reason to believe that polar bears could not suffer the same
fate. IN 1976 the US congress banned PCBs and most other
nations followed suit. Unfortunately PCBs still remain with us.
Humans clearly need to learn a lesson from this. More research has
to be done prior to launching new chemicals, and the use of these
chemicals has to be monitored. Flame retardants is a perfect
example, they have been used without supervision by industries for
far too long. Flame retardants are extremely harmful to the
environment and all forms of life.
The polar bears health
and our own health is reliant on humans reducing the use of
chemicals. We need to become less dependant on them, and only use
chemicals that have proven themselves harmless.