PCBs also pose threat to future of polar bears

To the editor:

I'm glad to see in the letters section of the editorial page that second graders at Stearns Elementary School are concerned about the plight of polar bears. There's another threat to their survival that they should know about.

PCB pollution from GE's Pittsfield plant, and many other locations, accumulates and concentrates in the bodies of animals all the way up the food chain, so top-level predators such as polar bears are being poisoned by the seals and fish that they eat. The PCBs disrupt their reproductive systems to the point that they can't produce healthy offspring, so their numbers inevitably decline.

So I hope the kids at Stearns will tell GE executives and local "leaders" who oppose a thorough and comprehensive cleanup of the Housatonic that leaving PCBs in the river and the floodplain will only result in further decline of the magnificent animals they're studying.

Maybe GE and its local enablers will listen to the kids, who might never get to see a real polar bear. I hope it's not too late.

Andy Gordon, Lenox