PBDEs in Marine Mammals

PBDEs are structurally similar to PCBs and DDTs and, therefore, their chemical properties, persistence and distribution in the environment follow the same pattern. They have been found to bioaccumulate and there are concerns over the health effects in animals from exposure to PBDEs. An extensive information pertaining to the bioaccumulation of this compound in small cetacean mammals, namely, spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) and humpback dolphin (S. chinensis), from Asian waters by Kajiwara et al. (2006). They established that PBDE profiles in cetaceans are species-specific and independent of exposure amount and/or body burdens. Concentrations of PBDEs ranged from a low value of 6.0 ng g-1 lipid wt. in S. longirostris from India to a high value of 6,000 ng g-1 lipid wt. in S. chinensis from Hong Kong and thus revealing different contamination sources. Kannan et al. (2005) observed maximum PBDEs levels of 0.98-18 ng g_1 in the blubber of O. brevirostris from Chilika lake and the compound was also found in muscle, liver and kidney tissues of this dolphin. An overall low PBDEs concentration was present in this species than the concentrations reported for other cetaceans in the coastal and riverine waters of Asia.

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