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Chemosphere. 2013 Feb;90(5):1719-28. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.10.018. Epub 2012 Nov 17.

Spatial trends of organochlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in Atlantic Anguillid eels.

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Department of Chemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6.


The bioaccumulation of lipophilic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) can result in a reduction in fitness and spawner quality in eels and may be a factor in Anguillid sp. population declines. Contaminant concentrations in eels have been studied extensively in Europe, but data for American eels are severely lacking. Concentrations of PCBs, OCPs, and PBDEs were determined in American eel from eastern Canada and New York, USA, along with European eel from Belgium. Principal component analysis revealed that eels captured in the St. Lawrence estuary were a mixture of upstream migrants from the St. Lawrence River watershed, and fish captured in local tributaries. Contaminant concentrations were dependent on origin, related to the local environment, and were lower than historic values. In Canada, concentrations of OCPs and PCBs in eel tissues were below the Canadian human consumption guidelines for contaminants in fish, indicating that the current risk to consumers is low. However, concentrations of PCBs, total DDT, and mirex in eels from L. Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence R. were above Great Lakes guidelines for the protection of piscivorous predators. Concentrations of penta-BDE homologs exceeded the Canadian guideline for environmental quality in over half of the eels in this study, but concentrations of the other homolog groups were below the guideline.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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