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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Jan;64(1):66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.10.022. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Assessment of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in plasma of bottlenose dolphins from two southeast US estuarine areas: relationship with age, sex and geographic locations.

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  • 1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Environmental Health & Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412-9110, USA.


Plasma PFCs were measured in 157 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) sampled from two US southeast Atlantic sites (Charleston (CHS), SC and Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL) during 2003-2005. ∑PFCs, perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (∑PFCAs), perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (∑PFSAs) and individual compounds were significantly higher in CHS dolphins for all age/sex categories compared to IRL dolphins. Highest ∑PFCs concentrations occurred in CHS juvenile dolphins (2340 ng/g w.w.); significantly higher than found in adults (1570 ng/g w.w. males; 1330 ng/g w.w. females). ∑PFCAs were much greater in CHS dolphins (≈ 21%) compared to IRL dolphins (≈ 7%); ∑PFSAs were 79% in CHS dolphins versus 93% in IRL dolphins. PFOS, the dominant compound, averaged 72% and 84%, respectively, in CHS and IRL dolphins. Decreasing PFC levels occurred with age on the bioaccumulation of PFCs in both sites. These observations suggest PFC accumulation in these two dolphin populations are influenced by site-specific exposures with significantly higher levels in CHS dolphins.

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