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PCB levels correlated with pathological changes in seal uteri
Helle, E.; Olsson, M. (1976). PCB levels correlated with pathological changes in seal uteri. Ambio 5(5-6): 261-263
In: Ambio. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Oslo; Boston. ISSN 0044-7447, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Halichoerus grypus (Fabricius, 1791) [WoRMS]; Phoca vitulina Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Pusa hispida Schreber, 1775 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Helle, E.
  • Olsson, M.

    {approx} 40% of a sample of Baltic ringed seal (Pusa hispida) female of reproductive age showed pathological changes of the uterus. The uterine horns were closed by stenosis and occlusions, preventing any passage from the ovary out through the horn. This explains their low reproduction rate. Animals showing this changes had significant higher level of DDT and PCB substances than normal, pregnant female. These pathological changes were also found among grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) from the Baltic area, as well as among harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) from the Swedish west coast. it is strongly indicated that PCB is responsible for the reproductive failure of seals in the Baltic area. A significant positive correlation between DDt and PCB levels and age was found in the male but not in the female. The levels of DDT and PCB substances were somewhat lower in fetuses, than in their mothers.

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