SIBERIAN rivers have turned into poisonous streams carrying large amounts of
toxic chemicals into the Arctic Ocean,
harming wildlife in the region.
According to the findings of State of the
Arctic Environment, a report compiled
by scientists from eight Arctic nations
and published recently in Norway, these
rivers contain hundred times more
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) and
pesticides like dichloro-diphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and lindane than
North American and Scandinavian rivers.
The most polluted rivers are the Ob, Yenisei and Pechora, says Derek Muir of the Canadian government's Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg. Russia had stopped manufacturing DDT in the 1980s but it still has old stocks which are widely used in Siberia to fight plagues of insects, says Stanislav Belikov of the All Russia Research Institute for Nature Conservation in Moscow. The Ob and Yenisei rivers flush out as much as 50 tonnes Of DDT in a year. High levels of PCBS were found in ringed seals in Kara Sea and they are also suspected in walruses, porpoises, whales, gulls, sea eagles, foxes and polar bears.
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