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J Great Lakes Res. 2015 Mar;41(1):222-227.

Hepatic polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) levels in Wisconsin river otters (Lontra canadensis) and Michigan bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA ; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Center for Integrative Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
2
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
3
Wildlife Disease Lab, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lansing, MI 48190, USA.
4
Bureau of Wildlife Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI 53707, USA.
5
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA ; Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, H9X 3V9.

Abstract

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent and toxic flame-retardant chemicals widespread in the Great Lakes ecosystem. These chemicals are now being regulated and phased-out of the region; therefore it remains important to understand the extent of contamination in order to track the efficacy of recent actions. Here, Σ4PBDE congeners (PBDE-47, 99, 100, 153;wetweight basis unless indicated)were determined in liver tissues from Wisconsin river otters (Lontra canadensis; n = 35; 2009-2010) and Michigan bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus; n = 33; 2009-2011). In otters, Σ4PBDE ranged from0.5 to 72.9 ng/g, with a mean (±SD) and median (25th-75th percentile inter-quartile range) of 16.3 ± 16.4 ng/g and 11.3 (5.6-18.9) ng/g, respectively. The mean lipid-adjusted Σ4PBDE was 1377 ± 1485 ng/g. In eagles, Σ4PBDE ranged from 0 to 1,538.8 ng/g, with a mean and median of 74.3 ± 266.7 ng/g and 21.2 (5.7-28.9) ng/g, respectively. The mean lipid-adjusted Σ4PBDE was 5274.5 ± 19,896.1 ng/g. In both species, PBDE-47 accounted for >50% of the Σ4PBDE, followed by PBDE-99 and PBDE-100 (each ~17-19% of the total). The PBDE levels reported here in otters are similar to mammalian wildlife elsewhere, though the levels in eagles are among the highest worldwide across studied birds. The findings indicate that apex Great Lakes wildlife remain exposed to appreciable levels of PBDEs and more work is needed to understand whether such exposures are associated with adverse health outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Biomonitoring; Flame retardants; Great Lakes; Persistent organic pollutants; Tissue residues; Wildlife

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