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Sci Total Environ. 2009 Dec 20;408(2):340-8. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.08.048. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Perfluorinated and other persistent halogenated organic compounds in European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and common eider (Somateria mollissima) from Norway: a suburban to remote pollutant gradient.

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  • 1Norwegian Institute for Air Research, The Polar Environmental Centre, Hjalmar Johansens gate 14, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway. dorte.herzke@nilu.no


Samples of two marine bird species, European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and common eider (Somateria mollissima) sampled at a remote coastal site in Norway were analysed for POPs and PFCs. Additionally samples of common eider were analysed from two other locations in Norway, representing a gradient from "densely populated" to "remote". The variety, concentration and distribution of lipophilic POPs in comparison to PFCs were investigated. PCBs were the dominating group of contaminants in the analysed egg samples. Shag eggs had median sum PCBs levels of 4,580 ng/g l.w. in 2004. Six different PBDE congeners could be detected in the shag eggs. BDE 47 and 100 were the main contributors with 24 and 27 ng/g l.w. respectively, sum PBDEs was 90 ng/g l.w. Relatively high concentrations of chlordanes were found with a total sum of 903 ng/g l.w. Of other OCs, toxaphene 26 and 52 together (sum 657 ng/g l.w.) and HCB (165 ng/g l.w.) were contributing majorly to the egg burden. Sum HCHs were low; only 54 ng/g l.w. PFOS was the main PFC in egg, plasma and liver samples. Similar median levels of 29, 32 and 27 ng/g w.w. were observed. PFOSA, PFH x S, and PFDcA were observed additionally in all shag samples at minor concentrations with the exception of elevated levels observed in liver for PFOSA and PFDcA with median levels of 7.6 and 7.9 ng/g w.w., respectively. In common eider eggs, the POP concentrations decreased up to 1/8th along the sampled spatial gradient from suburban to remote. Of the 9 detected PFCs, PFOS dominated all samples by one order of magnitude, followed by PFOA. Sum PFC concentrations were twice as high at the two fjord sites compared to the remote site. Shorter chained PFCAs like PFOA and PFNA could be detected in the eider eggs whilst being absent in shag eggs.

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