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Albatross study shows regional differences in ocean contamination

he Great Lakes region, have been associated with a variety of adverse effects, including reproductive deformities, endocrine disruption, and immune system dysfunction.

"It is very difficult to show a cause-and-effect link in a wild population, but there is evidence of health impacts in other species at these contaminant levels," Finkelstein said.

Humans are exposed to the same contaminants when they eat seafood, she added.

"It is important to realize that these contaminants have long-term effects, and we are only beginning to understand many of the subtle effects they can have, such as endocrine disruption and effects on the immune system," she said. "A lot of people think this issue has been taken care of, but it is still very much a problem."

Finkelstein, who earned a Ph.D. in ocean sciences at UCSC in 2003, conducted this study as part of her thesis research. Her advisers were Donald Croll, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and Donald Smith, professor of environmental toxicology. In addition to Croll and Smith, the coauthors of the paper include UCSC researchers Bradford Keitt and Bernie Tershy; Walter Jarman of the U.N. Environmental Program; Sue Rodriguez-Pastor of the University of Colorado, Boulder; David Anderson of Wake Forest University; and Paul Sievert of the U.S. Geological Survey.


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Source:University of California - Santa Cruz


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