Meet the Toxic Miami Dolphins - NBC4 Washington

Meet the Toxic Miami Dolphins

Study reveals wild dolphins in Biscayne Bay are being polluted by toxic conditions

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    Miami's real dolphins are being polluted at alarming rates, a new government study said. Humans could be next.

    The Miami dolphins need your help.

    No, not Bill Parcels and the boys, but the real Miami dolphins.

    Miami's iconic wild dolphins, especially those who live near downtown Miami, are chock full of toxins, according to a new government study.

    Scientists say they are so full of chemicals that they worry about their long-term survival, and also what the polluted water of Biscayne Bay may do to humans.
     
    Even the man of the sea himself, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the famous Jacques Cousteau, is doing a PBS special on the potential disastrous fate of the dolphins.
     
    A toxic chemical called flame retardant, which is used on everything from curtains to computer cables, was found in very high levels in dolphin blubber, according to scientists who inspected dolphins in the area.
     
    The closer the dolphins were found near downtown, the higher the toxin levels. The toxins could render the dolphins sterile or worse, scientists say.
     
    And it doesn’t take Ace Ventura to figure out who is responsible for this eco-mess, either.
     
    Run off from landfills that contain God knows what continues to seep into the bay. And with each new development that attracts thousands of more residents, the landfills get bigger and harder to contain.
     
    But the effects of pollution don’t end with Flipper. It could spell bad news for humans, who enjoy some of the same kinds of foods as their fellow mammalians – fish, shellfish and other crustaceans.
     
    Pretty much everyone who has eaten seafood has flame retardant in them, but scientists don't know how much would be too much before it turns harmful.
     
    Scientists also found two banned pesticides in dolphin blubber. DDT and PCB were both banned many years ago but remains persistent, indicating how difficult it will be to get rid of.
     
    Right now, Congress is considering a ban on the only remaining kind of flame retardant still be made in the US. It's already been banned in Europe.