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Example text

Your doctor might need to ask your state health department to investigate. You and your children may be exposed to PCBs by eating fish or wildlife caught from contaminated locations. S. territories have issued fish and wildlife advisories to warn people about PCB-contaminated fish and fish-eating wildlife. These advisories will tell you what types and sizes of fish and game animals are of concern. An advisory may completely ban eating fish or game or tell you to limit your meals of a certain fish or game type.

Substantial data suggest that PCBs play a role in neurobehavioral alterations observed in newborns and young children of women with PCB burdens near background levels. In general, the observed alterations are subtle. In some studies, those alterations were found to disappear as the children grow older (2–4 years old), while other studies have reported neurobehavioral deficits still present in 11-year-old children mostly due to in utero exposure to PCBs. Laboratory animal studies provide strong substantiating evidence that PCBs can induce adverse neurological effects in developing animals as well as in adults.

Laws today protect the welfare of research animals, and scientists must comply with strict animal care guidelines. Rats that ate food containing large amounts of PCBs for short periods of time had mild liver damage, and some died. Rats, mice, or monkeys that ate smaller amounts of PCBs in food over several weeks or months developed various kinds of health effects, including anemia, acne-like skin conditions, and liver, stomach, and thyroid gland injuries. Other effects caused by PCBs in animals include reductions in the immune system function, behavioral alterations, and impaired reproduction.

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