Virus, pollutants sicken Calif. sea lions

2021-06-09

Nearly 25% of adult sea lions in California have urogenital carcinoma probably caused by exposure to DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls as well as Otarine herpes virus, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Biopersistent chemicals including DDT and PCBs were dumped for years near sea lion breeding grounds around the Channel Islands, and Marine Mammal Center Medical Director Cara Field says, "the strong association with the herpes virus and pollutants in the environment is a huge warning to us to pay attention to what's happening in the oceans."

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