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Environ Pollut. 2006 Nov;144(1):238-47. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Distribution and transportability of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in the Asia-Pacific region using skipjack tuna as a bioindicator.

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  • 1National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 5050, Burlington ON L7R 4A6, Canada. <>


The geographical distribution of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) was investigated through analysis of muscle tissue of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) collected from offshore waters of Asia-Pacific region (Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Seychelles, Brazil, Japan Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea, Indian Ocean and North Pacific Ocean). HBCD was detected in almost all samples analyzed (<0.1 to 45 ng/g lipid weight basis), indicating widespread presence of this compound in the marine environment. Elevated concentrations of HBCD were found in skipjack tuna from areas around Japan, which have the larger modern industrial/urban societies, and implicated these areas as primary regional sources. All three individual HBCD isomers (alpha-, gamma- and beta-HBCD) were detected in almost all samples; the percentage contribution of the alpha-isomer to total HBCD increased with increasing latitude. The estimated empirical 1/2 distance for alpha-HBCD was 8500 km, which is one of the highest atmospheric transportability among various halogenated persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

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