Polar Bears: Affected by Pollution

by Aaryanna Dixon 2A

How Is Pollution Affecting Polar Bears?

Perfluoroalkyl carboxlates and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates found in PCB pollutants can damage the hormones, livers, blood, muscles, brains, and males' reproductive organs (the baculum) and overall weaken their ability to mate. With damaged reproductive organs, mutations can occur and deform their offspring. These pollutants can also decrease the skull density in polar bears. Polar bears are also affected by mercury and other heavy metals as it causes harmful changes in their environment.

By Jason Bittel, for National Geographic PUBLISHED January 30, 2015. "Is Pollution Weakening Polar Bears' Ability to Mate?" National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.