Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 9, pp 5797–5805 | Cite as

Contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Southeastern Mediterranean Sea

  • Maria Maddalena Storelli
  • Grazia Barone
  • Roberto Giacominelli-Stuffler
  • Giuseppe Onofrio Marcotrigiano


Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) including dioxin-like PCBs (non-ortho, PCB 77, PCB 126, and PCB 169 and mono-ortho, PCB 105, PCB 118, and PCB 156) were measured in different organs and tissues (melon, blubber, liver, kidney, lung, heart, and muscle tissue) of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Adriatic Sea). The mean highest levels were in blubber and melon, followed by liver, kidney, lung, heart, and muscle tissue. PCB profiles were similar in all tissues and organs being dominated by the higher chlorinated homologues (hexa-CBs, 55.8–62.1%; penta-CBs, 15.4–20.0%; and hepta-CB PCB 180, 12.7–16.5%). Major PCBs in all tissues were congeners 138 and 153 collectively accounting for 50.6–58.3% of the total PCB concentrations, followed by PCB 101, 105, 118, and 180 constituting from 27.0% to 31.0%. PCB levels were higher in adult males than in adult females. The estimated 2,3,7,8-TCDD toxic equivalents of non- and mono-ortho PCBs were much higher than the threshold level above which adverse effects have been observed in other marine mammals species, suggesting that striped dolphins in this region are at risk for toxic effects.


PCBs Striped dolphins Dioxin-like PCBs TEQs Mediterranean Sea Tissue distribution 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Maddalena Storelli
    • 1
  • Grazia Barone
    • 1
  • Roberto Giacominelli-Stuffler
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Onofrio Marcotrigiano
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacological-Biological Department, Chemistry and Biochemistry Section, Medicine Veterinary FacultyUniversity of BariValenzanoItaly
  2. 2.Comparative Biomedical Sciences Department, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Section, Medicine Veterinary FacultyUniversity of TeramoTeramoItaly

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