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elephant seal pup Horseshoe
California sea lion
In the News

AP News: Banned Decades Ago, PCBs Still Posing Threat to Wildlife

December 13, 2021
  • Cancer
  • Pollution

AP News: Banned decades ago, PCBs still posing threat to wildlife

Published by AP News: December 13, 2021

The Marine Mammal Center responds to 800 stranded marine mammals yearly along 600 miles (965 kilometers) of California coast. A 2020 study of stranded adult sea lions concluded that PCBs and DDT, which also was banned decades ago, are contributing to cancer rates as high as 23%.

“That rate of cancer is mostly unprecedented in wildlife,” said Cara Field, medical director of the center, adding that the disease caused a “complete systemic breakdown” in the animals and their blubber had much higher levels of PCBs than those without cancer.

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Research Insights

Cancer Research at The Marine Mammal Center

Cancer was first diagnosed in California sea lions at The Marine Mammal Center in 1979. Since then, our veterinarians and scientists have contributed to a number of scientific papers on cancer in marine mammal populations.

Yes, I want to save a life!

Yes, I want to save a life!

You’ll be giving sick and injured animals the best possible care at the Center’s state-of-the-art hospital. With your gift today, you are giving a patient a second chance at life in the wild.

  • $35 You'll buy food for a hungry animal
  • $45 You'll provide life-saving medical care
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Cara Field
California Sea Lion