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Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, DDE, and mirex in waterfowl collected in New York State, 1979–1980


Levels of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), DDE, and mirex were measured in the subcutaneous fat, breast muscle, liver, and brain of sixty-three waterfowl collected in New York State during 1979 and 1980. Mean PCB levels were 7.5 μg/g in fat and 1.3 μg/g in breast muscle on a wet weight basis. The FDA tolerance level is 3.0 μg/g in fat on a wet weight basis. Mean DDE and mirex levels were 0.34 μg/g and 0.10 μg/g in fat and 0.16 μg/g and 0.07 μg/g in breast muscle on a wet weight basis, respectively. Comparisons and correlations were made of contaminant levels in the various tissues by different concentration bases, and PCB concentrations were compared to the Aroclor® (PCB) type. Potential health hazards are discussed. Comparisons to earlier studies show declined levels. Mergansers are the most contaminated species.

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Correspondence to Jai S. Kim.

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Kim, K.S., Pastel, M.J., Kim, J.S. et al. Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, DDE, and mirex in waterfowl collected in New York State, 1979–1980. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 13, 373–381 (1984).

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  • Waste Water
  • Water Management
  • Water Pollution
  • PCBs
  • Biphenyl