Saving whales

Published: Sunday 31 January 1993

A LARGE number of dead whales were found washed up by whale scientist Roger Payne in Patagonia, Chile. The cause of death was apparently skin infections. The mysterious human-AIDS-like plague, which attacked the whales' immune system, was also reported in large areas as diversely located as the South Pacific and the North Atlantic. Payne believes the breakdown in immune systems is not due to a virus, but stems from legally or illegally dumped chemical pollutants, especially PCBs (poly-chlorinated biphenyls) and other related organohalogens -- chemicals that cause tumours, hormone imbalances, genetic deformities and collapse of the immune systems in many species.

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