Organic pollutants a threat to pink dolphins

Photo Credit: Takoradee Photo Credit: Takoradee

A recent study out of China found high levels of pollutants such as DDT in the Pearl River Estuary. The estuary is located in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, and is nearly 37 miles long and up to 30 miles wide. It is home to the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, sometimes called the Chinese pink dolphin, due to its white or pink coloring. In the past decade, these dolphins have seen a population decline of 60%, due in part to pollution of the waters they live in. The research team that conducted this study found polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs), chlordanes (CHL) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) present in the estuary. Levels of DDT were especially high, with levels of 845 to 179,000 ng/g wet weight.