A chemical used in the production of toilet paper and ‘forever chemicals’ have been found in the bodies of orcas in B.C. , including the endangered southern resident killer whales.

The Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries at UBC, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists analyzed tissue samples from six southern resident killer whales and six Bigg’s whales stranded along the coast of B.C. from 2006 to 2018, according to a recent study. They discovered that chemical pollutants are prevalent in killer whales, with a chemical often found in toilet paper one of the most prevalent in the samples studied, accounting for 46 per cent of the total pollutants identified.

The researchers were also the first to look at the transfer of pollutants from mother to fetus in one southern resident pair. They found that all the pollutants identified were transferred in the womb, and 95 per cent of 4NP transferred from mother to fetus.

Source: Water Canada

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