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Mar Pollut Bull. 2010 Aug;60(8):1160-9. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.04.002.

Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine contaminants in winter flounder, harp and hooded seals, and North Atlantic right whales from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

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  • 1Department of Biology (EWM, MJM, and MEH), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA 02543, United States.


Various brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and current-use, non-PBDE BFRs, as well as organochlorine (OC) pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were measured in winter flounder, harp and hooded seals, and North Atlantic right whales from the Eastern United States and Canada. The concentrations of PBDEs in winter flounder and right whales were similar in magnitude to the levels of PCBs, which was unlike the pattern observed in seals. In these marine mammals, the levels of PBDEs were orders of magnitude lower than the levels of OCs and PCBs detected. Evidence existed for the accumulation of methoxylated (MeO)-PBDEs of natural origin in seals and right whales. Current-use, non-PBDE BFRs (including hexabromocyclododecane, pentabromoethylbenzene, hexabromobenzene, and pentabromotoluene) were detected in winter flounder and marine mammals. Future research should focus on monitoring PBDEs, current-use, non-PBDE BFRs, and MeO-BDEs of natural origin in marine organisms from Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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