Ocean pollutants ‘have negative effect on male fertility’ 海洋污染物 「對雄性鼠海豚生殖能力有負面影響」

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有長效危害的被禁工業化學品可能威脅到在英國附近生活的雄性鼠海豚的生殖能力。多氯聯苯在幾十年前就被逐漸淘汰了,但這種物質會在鯨魚、海豚和鼠海豚的體內積聚。

PCBs were once used in everything from plastics to paints. They were banned in the 1980s, but the chemicals take a long time to break down and can linger in the oceans, accumulating in the blubber of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

多氯聯苯曾經被應用於從塑料到油漆的各類產品中。儘管在20世紀80年代,多氯聯苯已被禁用,但這種化學物質需要很長時間才會分解,而且會滯留在海洋中,在鯨魚、海豚和鼠海豚的鯨脂中積聚。

Scientists have long suspected PCBs might reduce the pregnancy rate of females. Now, research on hundreds of harbour porpoises washed up around the UK over the past decade raises concerns about male fertility too.

科學家們一直懷疑多氯聯苯可能會降低雌性的妊娠率。現在,對過去十年中在英國各地被沖上岸的數百隻港灣鼠海豚的研究,又引起了人們對雄性生殖能力的擔憂。

Scientists at the Zoological Society of London say harbour porpoises exposed to PCBs had smaller testicles, suggesting an effect on sperm count and fertility. They say while this is preliminary research, which needs to be confirmed, more must be done to clean up the oceans.

英國倫敦動物學會的科學家們表示,暴露在含有多氯聯苯的環境下的港灣鼠海豚睾丸較小,這表明多氯聯苯對其精子數和生殖能力有所影響。他們說,雖然這是初步研究,仍需確認,但人們必須做更多的工作來清理海洋污染物。

詞彙表

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) 多氯聯苯
chemicals 化學物質,化學品
break down 分解
linger 滯留
accumulating 積聚,積累
blubber (海洋動物的)鯨脂
porpoises 鼠海豚
pregnancy rate 妊娠率
washed up 被沖上岸的
fertility 生殖能力
sperm count 精子數

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. True or false? PCBs can stay in the oceans for a long time.

2. When were PCBs banned?

3. What have scientists long suspected about the effect of PCBs?

4. What concerns does the new research raise?

答案

1. True or false? PCBs can stay in the oceans for a long time.
True. The chemicals take a long time to break down and can linger in the oceans.

2. When were PCBs banned?
They were banned in the 1980s.

3. What have scientists long suspected about the effect of PCBs?
Scientists have long suspected PCBs might reduce the pregnancy rate of female whales, dolphins and porpoises.

4. What concerns does the new research raise?
The new research on harbour porpoises raises concerns about PCBs reducing male fertility too.