Accumulation Profiles of Persistent Organochlorines in Waterbirds from an Estuary in Korea
Persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine (OC) pesticides such as DDTs (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), HCHs (hexachlorocyclohexane isomers), CHLs (chlordane compounds) and HCB (hexachlorobenzene), were measured in subcutaneous fat of resident and migratory birds collected from the Nakdong River estuary (NRE) in Korea. Black-tailed gull, a resident bird from the NRE, contained greater concentrations of PCDD/Fs and PCBs than the migratory birds collected in the estuary. For example, mean concentrations of PCDD/Fs in black-tailed gull (395.5 pg/g fat weight) were higher than those in migratory birds, such as greenshank (198.3 pg/g fat weight), common gull (90.9 pg/g fat weight) black-headed gull (84.2 pg/g fat weight), and common tern (47.1 pg/g fat weight). However, concentrations of DDTs and/or HCHs were great in some migratory species, such as little tern (mean DDT 6,200 ng/g fat weight) and black-necked grebe (HCHs 475 ng/g fat weight). This suggested that contamination of PCDD/Fs and PCBs in resident gulls are due to intake of locally contaminated fish near the NRE. Elevated OC pesticide levels in migratory birds indicated that these birds have been exposed to DDTs and HCHs during their migration in Southeast Asian countries where chlorinated pesticides are still used. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachloro dibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs) were calculated using the toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) reported by World Health Organization in 1998. Four of the 2,3,7,8-substituted congeners of PCDD/Fs contributed over 90% of the TEQs.
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