Dec 14, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

Shocking Levels Of Toxic Pollutants Found In The UK Orca

May 08, 2017 06:59 PM EDT


A killer whale, that was entangled in fishing nets died last year in Scotland, was found to be one of the most contaminated animals on Earth. The examination on the remains of the Orca shows a very high level of PCB contamination in UK's killer whale body.

The dead killer whale, which was called Lulu died in the Isle of Tiree in Scotland after getting entangled in the fishing nets. Following the examination of its remains, the orca's body was found to have one of the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that is ever recorded, according to BBC. PCB contamination in UK's killer whale is feared to also happen to the rest of Lulu's pod of orcas.

Lulu is part of the last remaining orcas in the UK. The group consisting of eight killer whales and scientists feared that PCB contamination in UK's killer whale also happened to the rest of the pod. That is the main concern of the Head of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme and veterinary pathologist at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Dr. Andrew Brownlow when he examined the body of the killer whale, Lulu.

"They were 20 times higher than the safe level that we would expect for cetaceans to be able to manage," Dr. Brownlow commented regarding the PCB contamination in UK's killer whale. "That puts her as one of the most contaminated animals on the planet in terms of PCB burden."

The findings, according to Daily Express, poses a dire question with the other four males and four females of the orca pod in the West Coast of the United Kingdom. PCB contamination in UK's killer whales a very serious problem, as the substance which was banned in 1980's still contaminated the sea in the UK.

PCB was previously used as a common coolant and insulating fluids in the transformers and capacitors, hydraulic fluids, lubricating and cutting oil, waterproofing compounds and plasticizers in paints and cement. However, this chemical compound is known to be toxic and persistent organic pollutant. Production of the compound was banned in 1980's but the PCB contamination in UK's killer whale is likely to exist because of its characteristic as a persistent pollutant.

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