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Banned decades ago, PCBs still posing threat to wildlife

Loon / National Audubon Society
National Audubon Society
/

AP: The industrial chemicals once used in electric equipment have been found in Squam Lake sediment at high levels and may be harming the bird's reproduction.

HOLDERNESS, N.H. (AP) — Researchers on an idyllic New Hampshire lake popular with tourists are hunting for what's inhibiting the loon population growth.

The iconic aquatic birds, known for their haunting calls, have long faced threats from development and lead poisoning.

But they are also facing exposure to long-banned chemicals known as Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs.

The industrial chemicals once used in electric equipment have been found in Squam Lake sediment at high levels and may be harming the bird's reproduction.

Similar problems with PCBs have been found with other fish-eating birds in Massachusetts and the Great Lakes.