A recently published study of Puget Sound fish found that concentrations of flame retardants known as PBDEs are now higher than those of the pesticide DDT. Quoting from the Vancouver Sun:
"That’s pretty staggering," said marine mammal toxicologist Peter Ross. "For the first time, a new chemical has emerged to challenge the dominance of PCBs and DDT."
Now, in some ways, this shouldn’t be too surprising—DDT levels in the environment have gradually fallen since the compound was banned in the 1970s, but PBDE levels have skyrocketed over the past decade or so as more and more of the compounds were added to consumer products. In fact, PBDE levels in the Northwest are pretty high among humans too, as this 2-minute Flash animation and our PBDE report from last September demonstrate.