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Environ Pollut. 2006 Mar;140(1):136-49. Epub 2005 Aug 19.

Levels and distribution of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in sediments and biota from the Danube Delta, Romania.

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Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.


Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and analogues, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), were measured in sediments and biota (invertebrates, 11 fish species and cormorant tissues) collected in 2001 from the Danube Delta, the biggest European wetland. DDTs were the predominant pollutants in all samples. A high variability in the concentrations of pollutants within the same species was observed and this was related to sampling location, age, length and sex. DDTs were also the main organohalogenated contaminants in cormorant muscle and liver, followed by PCBs, HCHs, HCB and PBDEs. The present levels of DDTs in cormorant tissues are lower than levels measured in cormorant eggs sampled from the Danube Delta in 1982 and 1997, respectively. The variance of delta15N for herbivores was much greater than for carnivores, while carp and bream showed higher delta15N signatures than expected, probably due to a higher dietary proportion of benthos, typically more delta15N enriched relative to pelagic biota.

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