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Marine mammal blubber reference and control materials for use in the determination of halogenated organic compounds and fatty acids


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a diverse collection of control materials derived from marine mammal blubber, fat, and serum. Standard Reference Material (SRM) 1945 Organics in Whale Blubber was recertified for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, organochlorine pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners. SRM 1945 has also been assigned mass fraction values for compounds not frequently determined in marine samples including toxaphene congeners, coplanar PCBs, and methoxylated PBDE congeners which are natural products. NIST also has assigned mass fraction values, as a result of interlaboratory comparison exercises, for PCB congeners, organochlorine pesticides, PBDE congeners, and fatty acids in six homogenate materials produced from marine mammal blubber or serum. The materials are available from NIST upon request; however, the supply is very limited for some of the materials. The materials include those obtained from pilot whale blubber (Homogenates III and IV), Blainville’s beaked whale blubber (Homogenate VII), polar bear fat (Homogenate VI), and California sea lion serum (Marine Mammal Control Material-1 Serum) and blubber (Homogenate V).

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The laboratory assistance of Jennifer Yordy, Aurore Guichard, Michael Ellisor is acknowledged. We thank those laboratories participating in the NIST Interlaboratory Comparison Program for Organic Constituents in Marine Mammals and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service for financial support. We also thank the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California for assistance in the collection of marine mammal serum.


Certain commercial equipment and materials are identified in this paper to specify adequately the experimental procedure. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose. The marine mammal reference materials with the exception of SRM 1945 are available upon request provided the requester secures the appropriate permits allowing import of the materials (if non US) and pays for shipping. SRM 1945 is available from NIST via its SRM sales group, see

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Correspondence to John R. Kucklick.

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Kucklick, J.R., Schantz, M.M., Pugh, R.S. et al. Marine mammal blubber reference and control materials for use in the determination of halogenated organic compounds and fatty acids. Anal Bioanal Chem 397, 423–432 (2010).

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  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Reference materials
  • Marine mammal
  • Fatty acids