Although banned decades ago, man-made chemical compounds, once manufactured in vast quantities, have amassed in the environment and made their way into the sea.
These marine pollutants are locked in the ecosystem and accumulate in mother seals from eating fish. These are then passed on to pups when the mother feeds them.
Researchers believe that the contaminants which are passed on to the seal pup can hamper its ability to put on fat – which is vital to its survival.
Seal pups across the UK are “at risk” from man-made toxic chemicals present in their mothers’ milk.