"New" POPs in marine mammals in Nordic Arctic and NE Atlantic areas during three decades

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Marine mammals hold a special position in the hearts of people inhabiting Nordic Arctic areas and in coastal communities around the North Atlantic Ocean as they are an essential part of the diet and traditional life-style. However, marine mammals are in a particularly vulnerable position as regards environmental pollutants, because of the large fat stores in their bodies which serve as a “magnet” to a large number of persistent and toxic pollutants. A Nordic Council of Ministers supported collaboration between Norway, Denmark/Greenland, Faroe Island, Iceland and Sweden set out to look for possible trends in “new” contaminants in marine mammals in Nordic Arctic waters. The “new” contaminants in focus are the brominated flame retardants including the PBDEs, methoxylated PBDEs, perfluorinated compounds including the PFOS family, and polychlorinated naphthalenes. In addition, a subset of the samples was analysed for brominated dioxins and dibenzofurans. The marine mammals studied were fin whale, minke whale, pilot whale, white-sided dolphins, harbour porpoise, ringed seal and hooded seal. The study aims at giving a wide scope of the presence of these ”new” contaminants in marine mammals in recent time and going back to the 1980s using samples from specimen banks.




The method was as described in Rotander et al., (in prep. a): All organic solvents (methanol, n-hexane, dichloromethane, toluene) used were of pesticide grade and purchased from Sigma Aldrich (Steinheim, Germany). Anhydrous sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) were obtained from Fluka (Steinheim, Germany), silica gel 60 (70–230 mesh) and sulphuric acid (H2SO4) of pro analysis grade from Merck (Darmstadt, Germany), potassium hydroxide (KOH) (reagent grade pellets, Ph Eur) from Scharlau (Barcelona, Spain). Prior to use the silica gel was washed with methanol and dichloromethane and activated and stored in 120°C. Tetradecane was used as a keeper and obtained from Sigma Aldrich (Steinheim, Germany). The 13C-labeled internal standard (BDE-77) was purchased from Cambridge Isotope Laboratories Inc. (Andover, MA, USA), and 13C #139 was made available by Wellington Inc. (Guelph, Canada). Individual native PBDEs congeners nos. 28, 47, 66, 85, 99, 100, 138, 153, 154, 183 mixed into a quantification standard were also made available from Wellington Laboratories. 13C-labeled PCB congeners nos. 81, 114 and 178 were used as recovery standards and were provided by Cambridge Isotope Laboratories Inc. (Andover, MA, USA).


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