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Assessment of emerging and traditional halogenated contaminants in guillemot (Uria aalge) egg from Nort-Western Europe and the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Chemistry.
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet. (Enheten för miljögiftsforskning)
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2009 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 407, no 13, 4174-4183 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are readily detected in biological samples at remote sites in the Arctic and sub-Arctic due to long-range transport from source areas. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of POPs, polybrominated contaminants and their metabolites in guillemot (Uria aalge) eggs from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Sweden to assess spatial trends of these compounds in the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas of Europe. Egg samples were extracted, and cleaned for chemical analysis. Concentrations of PCBs, 4,4′-DDE and β-HCH were an order of magnitude higher in eggs from the Baltic Proper compared to eggs from the North Atlantic. Concentrations of HCB were of the same magnitude at all sites, ranging from 160 to 520 ng/g fat. Concentration of BCPS was 100 times higher in eggs from the Baltic compared to eggs from the North Atlantic and seems therefore to be special regional problem. Concentrations of PBDEs were lower in eggs from the North Atlantic compared to eggs from the Baltic Proper but the difference was not as large as for PCBs and 4,4′-DDE. HBCDD showed the same spatial trend as PCBs, where the concentrations in eggs from the Baltic Proper were an order of magnitude higher than in eggs from the North Atlantic. OH-PCB and MeSO2-PCB metabolites of PCBs, showed the same trend as the parent compounds while spatial trends of MeSO2-DDE and OH-PBDEs, metabolites of 4,4′-DDE and PBDEs, respectively, differed from the trend of the parent compounds. This may be due to two factors; firstly, the limited ability of birds to metabolise DDT, and secondly, to natural production of OH-PBDE, respectively. Guillemot is suggested as a monitoring species for circumpolar monitoring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 407, no 13, 4174-4183 p.
Keyword [en]
PCB, PBDE, HBCDD, BCPS, Metabolites, Spatial trend
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25685DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.03.026OAI: diva2:200245
Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2009-01-15 Last updated: 2011-02-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Temporal and spatial trends of organohalogens in guillemot (Uria aalge) from North Western Europe
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal and spatial trends of organohalogens in guillemot (Uria aalge) from North Western Europe
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Arctic and sub-Arctic region of the North Atlantic is a remote area, also in relations to environmental contaminants, such as POPs, BFRs and last but not least, PFCs. Both the BFRs and PFCs are considered emerging pollutants of significant environmental concern.

The main objective of this thesis is to increase the knowledge and understanding of organohalogen compound distribution in the Nordic environment, their occurrence in biota and change over time. The temporal change of environmental contaminants in the Baltic Sea was monitored over the years 1971 to 2001, with emphasis on BCPS. Further, the pollution profile of the Nordic region was investigated by using common guillemot eggs. Further, to investigate a single remote site, Iceland, in more depth, eggs from seven marine bird species were collected and analysed. Both the organohalogen compounds mentioned above and their metabolites were investigated. The study focused also on an inter-species difference in the bird’s capability of metabolising xenobiotics.

All environmental pollutants investigated in the Baltic Sea show decreasing levels over the time period investigated. BCPS showed a remarkably small change over time compared to other compounds. These results reinforce the previous findings, indicating the North Atlantic as remote where the concentrations of the organohalogens are lower compared to Europe in general. There are some exceptions however; the concentration of HCB is ubiquitously distributed across the study area. Further, the spatial trends of the PFCs are complicated and differ within the PFC group. When comparing bird species from Iceland, the concentration of organohalogens mainly depends on trophic level, while migration seems to contribute to a lesser extent. There are some similarities in the metabolism between the bird species investigated. However, the guillemot seems to distinguish itself from other marine birds, with a different composition of metabolites, indicating a different metabolic capacity.

In conclusion, even human populations living in remote areas need to minimise the release of pollutants to the environment. Long term, well organised, and extensive governmental monitoring programs are highly recommended to follow the quality the environment and to detect any immediate and/or new threats of chemical pollutants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för miljökemi, 2009. 72 p.
Arctic, environmental, monitoring, pollution, time trends, spatial trends
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8419 (URN)978-91-7155-736-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-02-06, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 12 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2009-01-15Bibliographically approved

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