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Environ Sci Technol. 2008 May 15;42(10):3724-31.

Fate of PBDEs in juvenile lake trout estimated using a dynamic multichemical fish model.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G5. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Freshwater Institute, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2N6.


Biotransformation half-lives (HL) and gut absorption efficiencies (GAE) of PBDE congeners in fish are poorly known and challenging to quantify experimentally. These values are needed in order to accurately assess their food web dynamics, and in turn, for policy development We recently developed a multichemical aquatic food web model, which was used to estimate HL of four PBDE congeners in a simple Arctic food web. However, an application of this model to more complex food webs would dramatically increase the uncertainties in the results due to the large number of unknowns that would need to be considered simultaneously. As such, an in-depth analysis of possible HL and GAE of additional PBDE congeners at the scale of individual fish species would facilitate model application to more complex food webs. For this purpose, we developed a fugacity-based dynamic multichemical fish model and applied it to previously published experimental laboratory data. The model was calibrated by maximizing correspondence between the modeled and observed concentrations for each of the thirteen congeners at two dietary concentrations in juvenile lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) during uptake and depuration phases mainly by varying HL and GAE. A robust parametrization and calibration procedure gave us confidence in our back-calculated congener-specific HL of 42-420 days and GAE of 20-45%. These values can be used as a starting point for model applications to natural fish populations. The fate/transport results suggest that not only loss of PBDE congeners via degradation, but also input through biotransformation of higher brominated congeners, should be accounted for in order to accurately portray dynamics of PBDEs in fish.

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