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Chemosphere. 2002 Feb;46(5):665-72.

Spatial distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polybrominated biphenyls in lake trout from the Laurentian Great Lakes.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Ont., Canada.


Concentrations of two types of brominated flame-retardants (BFRs); polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) were determined in a single age class of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) collected from the Laurentian Great Lakes in 1997. Mean concentrations of total PBDE were highest in samples from Lake Ontario at 95+/-22 ng/g wet weight (ww) or 434+/-100 ng/g lipid weight (lw) while the lowest concentrations were observed in Lake Erie lake trout (27+/-8.6 ng/g ww, 117+/-37 ng/g lw). In all samples, the predominant PBDE congeners were 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99), and 2,2',4,4', 6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-100), which are the primary components of the commonly used penta-BDE formulation flame retardant. Lake trout collected from Lake Huron had the highest concentrations of PBBs (3.1+/-1.7 ng/g ww, 15+/-8.5 ng/g lw), while the lowest levels were detected in fish from Lake Superior (0.25+/-0.13 ng/g ww, 1.7+/-0.89 ng/g lw). In all lake trout samples, 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromobiphenyl (BB-153), a major constituent of the flame-retardant FireMaster BP-6, was the predominant PBB congener.

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