Stretching 4,500 miles from Venezuela to the tip of Chile are the Andes Mountains, drawing thousands of visitors each year to witness the longest mountain range along with one of the highest mountain peaks in the world.
Sadly, even remote parts of the world like this — long considered to be among the purest forms of nature — have been tainted by environmental pollutants. In a recent study researchers tested snow samples from Aconcagua Mountain in Argentina, considered the highest peak in the Andes at 22,834 feet high, and found traces of a toxic pollutant called PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls).
How PCBS are Making Their Way Into the Environment
PCBs are a mixture of 209 man-made chlorinated chemicals. They can enter the environment through air, water, and soil during their manufacture, use, and disposal; from accidental spills and leaks during their transport; and from leaks or fires in products containing PCBs.