Pollutants are being found in creatures living 10000 meters under the sea

Larger animals such as dolphins whales and polar bears are at risk of being poisoned by the chemicals because they must consume a large number of POPs-infected fish to survive

Once there, the carcasses are consumed by a wide range of deep-sea creatures.

Wherever humans go, we usually leave a trail of pollution behind, and it seems this applies even to the road untraveled, like unexplored parts of the ocean's deepest trenches.

The only site in the Northwest Pacific with PCB levels comparable to the Mariana Trench was Japan's Suruga Bay, a heavily industrialised area with high usage of organochlorine chemicals.

The team's results are sobering: high levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants, otherwise known as POPs, were found in the fatty tissue of the amphipods.

"Pollutants were there in every single sample, regardless of depth, regardless of species", lead author Alan Jamieson, of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, said.

It is believed that some 1.3 million tonnes of PCBs - which can persist in the environment for decades - were produced from the 1930s to 1970s.

In fact, they discovered higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in amphipods in the Trench than in crabs living in waters fed by one of the most polluted rivers in China.

While this study raised many questions it provided clear evidence that far from being remote, the "deep ocean.is highly connected to surface waters and has been exposed to significant concentrations of human-made pollutants".

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"We're very good at taking an "out of sight, out of mind" approach when it comes to the deep ocean but we can't afford to be complacent", he added.

Though it is hard to place the original source of the waste, most PCBs were leaked into the environment through industrial accidents and landfills, BBC News reports. "I've always thought of them very far removed from human activities". And previous research has suggested that even contaminants that start out on the surface of the ocean can sink to the deepest places, clinging to garbage or even the bodies of dead animals, within a few months.

The findings of Dr Jamieson's team were, she said, "disturbing".

In an associated article in the same journal, Dr Katherine Dafforn of the University of New South Wales said the new research had discovered industrial pollution in "a habitat formerly considered pristine". POPs are highly toxic industrial chemicals that were banned in the late 1970s but do not break down in the environment. PCBs were banned in the US in 1979 and no longer imported into Australia from 1975, amid environmental and health fears.

As part of their research, Jamieson and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen and the James Hutton Institute used a robotic submarine to collect amphipods from the Mariana and the Kermadec Trenches and analyzed them for PCBs and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), two now-banned types of chemicals linked to a variety of health problems.

"The spotlight has hovered over these pollutants due to their capacity to remain viable over long time periods and for long-range transport in material such as soil, water and air".

An expedition conducted by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration past year also found various manmade items on the slopes leading to the Sirena Deep, part of the Mariana trench, and the nearby Enigma Seamount.

"This impacts on the hormonal endocrine system, which can effect development", Dafforn explained.

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