Research Vessel Returns to Boston

After a five year, round-the-world voyage, the crew of a Massachusetts-based research vessel called "The Odyssey" landed safely in Boston Harbor yesterday. Scientists and others on board the 93-foot boat sailed to remote waters, collecting skin and blubber samples from over 1,000 sperm whales in order to measure the level of toxins these mammals are consuming. They discovered every whale was polluted with heavy metals and insecticides, no matter how far from land they were found.

Although researchers are still analyzing the data, Richard Payne of the non-profit Ocean Alliance says measuring contaminants in ocean mammals that are high up on the food chain says a lot about human health. WBUR's Athena Desai reports.

This program aired on August 18, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.


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