A new report looking into her death shows that things for this pod may be even worse than imagined. Detailed analysis of Lulu’s blubber found that she had some of the highest levels of toxic pollutants ever recorded in an orca found in this region. The levels of PCB found in the orca are thought to be 100 times greater than what is considered the minimum toxic level for marine mammals.
Known officially as polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs are now known to accumulate up the food chain, and can cause poor health, damage to the immune system, increased susceptibility to cancer, and even infertility. After testing Lulu, they found that she had an astonishing 957 milligrams of PCB per kilogram of blubber, far higher than anything anyone has seen before in marine mammals, and way over the limit that is thought to cause harm.