Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s), Chlorinated Pesticides, and Heavy Metals and Other Elements in Tissues of Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, from Cook Inlet

Becker, Paul R. and Krahn, Margaret M. and Mackey, Elizabeth A. and Demiralp, Rabia and Schantz , Michele M. and Epstein, Michael S. and Donais, Mary Kate and Porter, Barbara J. and Muir , Derek C. G. and Wise , Stephen A. (2000) Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s), Chlorinated Pesticides, and Heavy Metals and Other Elements in Tissues of Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, from Cook Inlet. Marine Fisheries Review, 62(3), pp. 81-98.

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Abstract

Tissues from Cook Inlet beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, that were collected as part of the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), chlorinated pesticides, and heavy metals and other elements. Concentrations of total PCB’s (ΣPCB’s), total DDT (ΣDDT), chlordane compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), dieldrin, mirex, toxaphene, and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) measured in Cook Inlet beluga blubber were compared with those reported for belugas from two Arctic Alaska locations (Point Hope and Point Lay), Greenland, Arctic Canada, and the highly contaminated stock from the St. Lawrence estuary in eastern Canada. The Arctic and Cook Inlet belugas had much lower concentrations (ΣPCB’s and ΣDDT were an order of magnitude lower) than those found in animals from the St. Lawrence estuary. The Cook Inlet belugas had the lowest concentrations of all (ΣPCB’s aver-aged 1.49 ± 0.70 and 0.79 ± 0.56 mg/kg wet mass, and ΣDDT averaged 1.35 ± 0.73 and 0.59 ± 0.45 mg/kg in males and females, respectively). Concentrations in the blubber of the Cook Inlet males were significantly lower than those found in the males of the Arctic Alaska belugas (ΣPCB’s and ΣDDT were about half). The lower levels in the Cook Inlet animals might be due to differences in contaminant sources, food web differences, or different age distributions among the animals sampled. Cook Inlet males had higher mean and median concentrations than did females, a result attributable to the transfer of these compounds from mother to calf during pregnancy and during lactation. Liver concentrations of cadmium and mercury were lower in the Cook Inlet belugas (most cadmium values were <1 mg/kg and mercury values were 0.704–11.42 mg/kg wet mass), but copper levels were significantly higher in the Cook Inlet animals (3.97–123.8 mg/kg wet mass) than in Arctic Alaska animals and similar to those reported for belugas from Hudson Bay. Although total mercury levels were the lowest in the Cook Inlet population, methylmercury concentrations were similar among all three groups of the Alaska animals examined (0.34–2.11 mg/kg wet mass). As has been reported for the Point Hope and Point Lay belugas, hepatic concentrations of silver were re

Item Type: Article
Title: Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s), Chlorinated Pesticides, and Heavy Metals and Other Elements in Tissues of Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, from Cook Inlet
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Becker, Paul R.
Krahn, Margaret M.
Mackey, Elizabeth A.
Demiralp, Rabia
Schantz , Michele M.
Epstein, Michael S.
Donais, Mary Kate
Porter, Barbara J.
Muir , Derek C. G.
Wise , Stephen A.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 62
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 81-98
Date: 2000
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 9772
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 20:25
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2012 20:25
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9772

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