Organochlorine Pesticide and Polychlorinated Biphenyl in Calves from North-West Spain

  • I. Blanco-Penedo
  • M. López-Alonso
  • M. Miranda
  • J. L. Benedito
  • R. F. Shore


The aim of the present study was to assess the levels of organic pollutants in cattle from the NW of Spain. The livers of 101 animals from two regions (Galicia and Asturias) were analysed for seven organochlorine pesticides (HCB, α-HCCH, φ-HCCH, HEOD, DDT, TDE) and 34 PCBs congeners (8, 18, 28, 29, 31, 52, 77, 101, 105, 114, 118, 123, 126, 128, 138, 141, 149, 153, 156, 157, 167, 169, 170, 171, 180, 183, 187, 189, 194, 199, 201, 205, 206 and 209). The influence of different factors (type of farm and proximity to industrial areas) on pesticide accumulation in cattle was also studied. Overall, the frequency of occurrence and concentrations of OC pesticides and PCBs was low in calves from both regions. HEOD was detected most frequently and was found in more than half of the calves from each region. PCBs 141 and 153 were the most frequently detected PCB congeners but typically occurred in less than 20% of animals. The exposure of calves to the more abundant contaminants differed significantly between the regions and may be related to past usage patterns. Differences between farms in terms of their livestock management did not have a significant effect on pesticide accumulation by calves. The liver concentrations in calves were below maximum residues levels (RMLs) for human intake and there is no indication of any risk from these contaminants through eating calf liver.


Organochlorine pesticides Polychlorinated biphenyls, calves Farm-type industrialization 



This study was supported by the Xunta de Galicia (Spain) (PGIDT02RA6261001PR). I. B. P. is a recipient of a research fellowship (AP2003-3835) from the Ministry of Science of Spain. We thank all members of CEH Monks Wood, special thanks to Claire Wienburg for assistance with pesticide analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Blanco-Penedo
    • 1
  • M. López-Alonso
    • 1
  • M. Miranda
    • 2
  • J. L. Benedito
    • 1
  • R. F. Shore
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Patoloxía Animal, Facultade de VeterinariaUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaLugoSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias Clínicas Veterinarias, Facultade de VeterinariaUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaLugoSpain
  3. 3.NERC Centre for Ecology & HydrologyLancaster Environment CentreBailriggUK

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