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Environ Pollut. 2007 Mar;146(1):166-73. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

Age and seasonal variability of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in free-ranging East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

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Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark. <>


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analysed in adipose tissue from 92 East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled during 1999-2001. Mean SigmaPBDE concentrations were 70 ng/g lipid weight (lw) (range: 22-192 ng/g lw) and showed no relationship with age or sex. Of the 32 analysed PBDE congeners; BDE47, BDE153, BDE99 and BDE100 dominated, and comprised 99.6% of the SigmaPBDE concentration. The SigmaPBDE concentration had a highly significant correlation with SigmaPCB, SigmaCHL, dieldrin, HCB and SigmaHCH concentrations. We found a seasonal pattern of median SigmaPBDE concentration with 1.2 to 1.8 times higher concentrations in March to July than the rest of the year. The seasonal variation also provides a clue to the seasonal exposure, bio-availability, toxic exposure and degradation. We suggest that future geographical PBDE data comparisons may not need corrections for sex or age, but such data sets should be corrected for seasonal variability, using the presented correctional trigonometric regression.

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