Concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (coplanar PCBs) were determined in five albatross species collected from the North Pacific and Southern Oceans to assess the north-south differences in residue levels, accumulation patterns, and toxic potential. Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses from the North Pacific Ocean contained higher levels of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs than albatrosses from the Southern Ocean, indicating that emission sources of these contaminants were predominant in the northern hemisphere. Residue levels in albatrosses from the remote North Pacific Ocean far from the point source of pollution were comparable to or higher than those in terrestrial and coastal birds from contaminated areas in developed nations, suggesting the specific exposure and accumulation of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs in albatross. The long life span and ingestion of plastic resin pellets by albatrosses could be the plausible explanations for the elevated accumulation of persistent and lipophilic contaminants including PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs in these birds. Relative proportions of PCDFs and coplanar PCBs in albatross were higher than those observed in birds inhabiting terrestrial and coastal areas, suggesting that these toxic chemicals may have higher transportability by air and water than PCDDs. Congener patterns of PCDD/Fs in albatross showed less variability as compared to those in terrestrial species, indicating that contamination patterns of PCDD/Fs were similar within the open ocean environment. Contributions of PCDD/Fs to total TEQs in albatrosses from the open ocean were generally lower than those in terrestrial birds, suggesting different toxic potency of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs on animals inhabiting open ocean and terrestrial environment. Whereas albatrosses from southern oceans retained lower TEQ concentrations, possible adverse effects of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs to black-footed and Laysan albatrosses of the North Pacific Ocean may be suspected from TEQ levels.
"In contrast, PCB, PCDD/F and PBDE concentrations were at the lower end of the range reported internationally and below any concentrations reported to be causing effects. The lower concentrations of these POPs in the harriers compared with Northern Hemisphere studies is consistent with studies on migratory seabirds that have found that birds from the Southern Hemisphere tend to have lower concentrations of OCP, PCBs, PCDD/Fs, which is attributed to the general lack of industrialisation in the Southern Hemisphere (Guruge et al. 2001; Tanabe et al. 2004; Colabuono et al. 2012). There are no readily identifiable sources of PCBs, PCDD/Fs and PBDEs and the concentrations found suggest a relatively clean environment, although they may reflect general background concentrations in New Zealand of atmospherically transported contaminants. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Birds of prey are widely used internationally as bioindicators of environmental contamination
of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). However, there is a dearth of information on POPs
concentrations in New Zealand birds of prey. We assessed tissue concentrations of established and
emerging POPs in Australasian harriers (Circus approximans) from the Canterbury Region of New
Zealand. ∑DDTs comprised up to 98% of the POPs detected, with concentrations up to 200 µg/g
lipid weight. Similar concentrations were measured approximately 35 years ago in harriers from the
same region, and are among the highest reported internationally for raptors. DDE concentrations
were above those anticipated to cause detrimental effects in other bird species. Polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) were present at the next highest concentrations with up to 3060 ng/g lipid weight
in harriers. Concentrations of PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated
dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzo-furans (PCDD/PCDFs) in harriers were at the lower
end of the range of concentrations reported in international surveys of raptors, with our results
including the first reported detection of PBDEs in New Zealand raptors.
"Yogui and Sericano (2009a), however, report a different profile for unhatched eggs of penguins (genus Pygoscelis) and skuas (genus Catharacta ) living in a geographically closer environment, at least during the breeding season. This suggests some specificity in exposure and accumulation pathways, as previously noted by Guruge et al. (2001) and Tanabe et al. (2004). The study by Sericano et al. (2003) constitutes another source of comparison, in which fat samples from Catharacta sp. were analyzed, resulting in a predominance pattern of BDE 47 > BDE 99 > BDE 100, which is different from the pattern in the present study and closer to the ones obtained for eggs of birds of the same genus in Yogui and Sericano (2009a) "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been gaining much visibility in environmental chemical studies due to their similarity to PCBs and growing reports of harmful effects. The fact that these contaminants have not yet undergone bans or restrictions on the global level underscores the need for data on their occurrence. In the present study, fat samples from 26 White-chinned Petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and 3 Spectacled Petrels (P. conspicillata) collected dead ashore or as bycatch of longline fisheries in southern Brazil were analyzed to determine concentrations of seven congeners (IUPAC #28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154 and 183). Concentrations of ΣPBDEs ranged from not detectable to 72.70ngg(-1) (wet weight), comparatively lower than concentrations reported for seabird samples in northern hemisphere. The most detected congeners were 153, 154 and 183. This pattern is close to that previously reported for birds of the same group, but not those from the same region.
"There is concern regarding the possible transfer of these contaminants from plastics to marine organisms that ingest them. This may be a significant pathway for the chemicals in plastics to enter marine organisms (Ryan et al., 1988; Derraik, 2002; Tanabe et al., 2004). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The occurrence of plastic objects in the digestive tract was assessed in eight species of Procellariiformes collected in southern Brazil and the occurrence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the ingested plastics pellets and plastic fragments was evaluated. PCBs were detected in plastic pellets (491 ng g(-1)) and plastic fragments (243-418 ng g(-1)). Among the OCPs, p,p'-DDE had the highest concentrations, ranging from 68.0 to 99.0 ng g(-1). The occurrence of organic pollutants in post-consumer plastics supports the fact that plastics are an important source carrying persistent organic pollutants in the marine environment. Although transfer through the food chain may be the main source of exposure to POPs to seabirds, plastics could be an additional source for the organisms which ingest them, like Procellariiformes which are the seabirds most affected by plastic pollution.
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