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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2008 Nov;27(11):2253-62. doi: 10.1897/07-651.1.

Partitioning of current-use and legacy pesticides in salmon habitat in British Columbia, Canada.

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Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 4B2, Canada.


Current regulatory paradigms have favored a shift from persistent pesticides that amplify in aquatic food webs to pesticides with reduced persistence and bioaccumulative potential (low log K(OW)). Although these new generation pesticides preferentially partition away from food web-associated lipids, aquatic biota may nonetheless be exposed to them via other environmental compartments. To characterize pesticide patterns in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) habitat, we studied two salmon-bearing watersheds (agricultural and urban) in British Columbia, Canada's Fraser River valley and one in a remote area of the province's central coast. The agricultural and remote sites exhibited pesticide patterns dominated by current-use pesticides, whereas the urban site was largely dominated by legacy organochlorine pesticides. When adjusted to trans-chlordane concentrations across environmental matrices, correlations were observed between water to sediment ratios for the pesticides and their octanol:water partitioning coefficients (log K(OW); r2=0.48, p < 0.0001); between air to water ratios and Henry's Law coefficients (r2=0.55, p<0.0001); and between fish to water ratios and log K(OW) (r2=0.74, p<0.0001). These relationships underscore the importance of physicochemical properties in determining the fate of pesticides in freshwater salmon habitat, and highlight the need for research on the nature of health risks associated with exposure where little or no accumulation occurs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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