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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2016 Jul;35(7):1695-707. doi: 10.1002/etc.3427. Epub 2016 May 27.

Current-use pesticides in seawater and their bioaccumulation in polar bear-ringed seal food chains of the Canadian Arctic.

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School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut, Mansfield, Connecticut, USA.
Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


The distribution of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in seawater and their trophodynamics were investigated in 3 Canadian Arctic marine food chains. The greatest ranges of dissolved-phase concentrations in seawater for each CUP were endosulfan sulfate (less than method detection limit (MDL) to 19 pg L(-1) ) > dacthal (0.76-15 pg L(-1) ) > chlorpyrifos (less than MDL to 8.1 pg L(-1) ) > pentachloronitrobenzene (less than MDL to 2.6 pg L(-1) ) > α-endosulfan (0.20-2.3 pg L(-1) ). Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs, water-respiring organisms) were greatest in plankton, including chlorothalonil (log BAF = 7.4 ± 7.1 L kg(-1) , mean ± standard error), chlorpyrifos (log BAF = 6.9 ± 6.7 L kg(-1) ), and α-endosulfan (log BAF = 6.5 ± 6.0 L kg(-1) ). The largest biomagnification factors (BMFs) were found for dacthal in the capelin:plankton trophic relationship (BMF = 13 ± 5.0) at Cumberland Sound (Nunvavut), and for β-endosulfan (BMF = 16 ± 4.9) and α-endosulfan (BMF = 9.3 ± 2.8) in the polar bear-ringed seal relationship at Barrow and Rae Strait (NU), respectively. Concentrations of endosulfan sulfate exhibited trophic magnification (increasing concentrations with increasing trophic level) in the poikilothermic portion of the food web (trophic magnification factor = 1.4), but all of the CUPs underwent trophic dilution in the marine mammal food web, despite some trophic level-specific biomagnification. Together, these observations are most likely indicative of metabolism of these CUPs in mammals. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1695-1707.


Bioaccumulation; Current-use pesticide; Food chain; Marine mammal; Trophic dilution

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