Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Toxicity to Certain Phytoplankters

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Science  14 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4018, pp. 191-192
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4018.191


The growth rates of two species of marine diatoms were reduced by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), widespread pollutants of the marine environment, at concentrations as low as 10 to 25 parts per billion. In contrast, a marine green alga and two species of freshwater algae were not inhibited at these or higher concentrations. The sensitivity of these species to PCB's paralleled their sensitivity to DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane].