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Environ Pollut. 1987;43(1):39-46.

Gain and loss rates and biological half-life of PCBs and DDE in the bodies of adelie penguins.

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  • 1Department of Environment Conservation, College of Agriculture, Ehime University, Matsuyama 790, Japan.


The gain and loss rates and the biological half-life of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p'-DDE in wild birds were calculated using the values on burdens of these compounds in the bodies of adelie penguins in a previous report (Subramanian et al., 1986). The daily loss rate of PCBs (0.26%) was found to be higher than DDT compounds (0.12%) resulting in the longer biological half-life of the latter compounds (580 days) than PCBs (270 days). Hence, once DDT compounds are absorbed they are more persistent in the organisms' bodies due to their high lipophilicity and comparatively less metabolisable nature than PCBs.

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