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Sci Total Environ. 2011 Jun 15;409(14):2734-45. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.02.039.

Persistent organic pollutants in ringed seals from the Russian Arctic.

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Akvaplan-niva, Polar Environmental Centre, Tromsø, Norway.


Organochlorine compounds total DDT (ΣDDT), total HCH isomers (ΣHCH), toxaphenes (sum of Parlar 26, 50, 62), mirex, endrin, methoxychlor, total chlorinated benzenes (ΣCBz), total chlordane compounds (ΣCHL), polychlorinated biphenyls (total of 56 congeners; ΣPCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (sum of 7 tri- to hepta congeners; ΣPBDEs) were analysed in the blubber of adult ringed seals from the four areas of the Russian Arctic (White Sea, Barents Sea, Kara Sea and Chukchi Sea) collected in 2001-2005. Ringed seals from the south-western part of the Kara Sea (Dikson Island - Yenisei estuary) were the most contaminated with ΣDDTs, ΣPCBs, ΣCHL, and mirex as compared with those found in the other three areas of Russian Arctic, while the highest mean concentrations of ΣHCHs and PCDD/Fs were found in the blubber of ringed seals from the Chukchi Sea and the White Sea, respectively. Among all organochlorine compounds measured in ringed seals from the European part of the Russian Arctic, concentrations of ΣDDT and ΣPCBs only were higher as compared with the other Arctic regions. Levels of all other organochlorine compounds were similar or lower than in seals from Svalbard, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. ΣPBDEs were found in all ringed seal samples analysed. There were no significant differences between ΣPBDE concentrations found in the blubber of ringed seals from the three studied areas of the European part of the Russian Arctic, while PBDE contamination level in ringed seals from the Chukchi Sea was 30-50 times lower. ΣPBDE levels in the blubber of seals from the European part of the Russian Arctic are slightly higher than in ringed seals from the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and western Greenland but lower compared to ringed seals from Svalbard and eastern Greenland.

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