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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2002 Oct;21(10):2209-15.

Polychlorinated biphenyls and toxaphene in Pacific tree frog tadpoles (Hyla regilla) from the California Sierra Nevada, USA.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Pacific tree frog (Hyla regilla) tadpoles were collected throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range, California, USA, in 1996 and 1997 and analyzed for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and toxaphene. Whole-tadpole sigma PCB levels ranged from 244 ng/g (wet wt) at lower elevations on the western slope to 1.6 ng/g high on the eastern slope, whereas sigma toxaphene levels ranged from 15.6 to 1.5 ng/g. Linear regression of PCB and toxaphene residue levels versus elevation indicated a significant relationship, with an r2 value of 0.33 for PCB and 0.45 for toxaphene indicating a significant elevation effect on PCB and toxaphene bioaccumulation in Sierra Nevada H. regilla. Tadpole samples from sites in east-facing versus west-facing drainage basins showed significant differences in PCB and toxaphene residue levels, suggesting the possibility of a rain-shadow effect in the long-range atmospheric transport of these contaminants to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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