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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jul 1;41(13):4561-7.

Current-use flame retardants in the eggs of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) from the Laurentian Great Lakes.

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Science and Technology Branch, National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3, Canada.


Of the 13, current-use, non-polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants (FRs) monitored, hexabromobenzene (HBB), pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB), pentabromotoluene (PBT), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE) and alpha- and gamma-isomers of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and the syn- and anti-isomers of the chlorinated Dechlorane Plus (DP) were quantified in egg pools of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) collected in 2004 from six sites in all five of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. alpha-HBCD concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 20 ng/g (wet weight (ww)). Other "new" FR levels ranged from 0.004 to 1.4 ng/g ww and were much lower than those of the major BDE congeners that are in technical mixtures (namely BDE-47, -99, -100), where sigma3PBDE ranged from 186 to 498 ng/g ww. Nineteen hepta-BDEs (sigma(hepta) = 4.9-11 ng/g ww), octa-BDEs (alpha(octa) = 2.6-9.1 ng/g ww), and nona-BDEs (sigma(nona) = 0.12-5.6 ng/g ww) were detectible at all six colonies, while BDE-209 was low but quantifiable (< 0.1-0.21 ng/g ww) at two colonies. sigma-DP (syn- and anti-isomers) concentrations in eggs from all sites ranged from 1.5 to 4.5 ng/g ww. Our findings indicate that mother herring gulls are exposed to several, current-use flame retardants via their diet, and in ovo transfer occurred to their eggs. Given the aquatic diet of herring gull, this suggests that there are non-PBDE BFRs present in the gull-associated aquatic food web of the Great Lakes.

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