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Environ Pollut. 2009 Aug-Sep;157(8-9):2248-54. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.04.002. Epub 2009 May 1.

Occurrence of triclosan in plasma of wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and in their environment.

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  • 1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Services, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412-9110, USA.


The presence of triclosan, a widely-used antibacterial chemical, is currently unknown in higher trophic-level species such as marine mammals. Blood plasma collected from wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Charleston, SC (CHS) (n = 13) and Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) (n = 13) in 2005 was analyzed for triclosan. Plasma concentrations in CHS dolphins ranged from 0.12 to 0.27 ng/g wet weight (mean 0.18 ng/g), with 31% of the sampled individuals having detectable triclosan. The mean IRL dolphin plasma concentrations were 0.072 ng/g wet weight (range 0.025-0.11 ng/g); 23% of the samples having detectable triclosan. In the CHS area, triclosan effluent values from two WWTP were both 190 ng/L and primary influents were 2800 ng/L and 3400 ng/L. Triclosan values in CHS estuarine surface water samples averaged 7.5 ng/L (n = 18) ranging from 4.9 to 14 ng/L. This is the first study to report bioaccumulation of anthropogenic triclosan in a marine mammal highlighting the need for further monitoring and assessment.

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