Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins (PCDDs), Dibenzofurans (PCDFs), Biphenyls (PCBs), and Organochlorine Pesticides in Yellow-Blotched Map Turtle from the Pascagoula River Basin, Mississippi, USA

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Concentrations of polychlorinated-dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), -dibenzofurans (PCDFs), -biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides were measured in tissues of map turtles collected from two locations in the Pascagoula River drainage of Mississippi, USA. PCBs were most predominant among the organochlorines with a concentration of up to 99 ng/g, wet weight (580 ng/g, lipid weight) in livers. The greatest concentration of PCDDs/DFs of 1.1 pg/g, wet weight (15.76 pg/g, lipid weight) was found in the liver of a male turtle. The measured concentrations of organochlorines were less than those reported for turtles from the Great Lakes Basin and upper St. Lawrence River. PCBs contributed 90–99% of the total estimated 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs). Particularly, PCB congeners 105, 118, and 156 accounted for 68–80% of the estimated toxic potency of PCBs in turtles.

Received: 4 May 1999/Accepted: 20 September 1999