Document Detail

Organochlorine contaminants in endangered Steller sea lion pups (Eumetopias jubatus) from western Alaska and the Russian Far East.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18384839     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Investigations into the cause of the Steller sea lion population decline have focused on numerous factors, including exposure to toxic contaminants such as organochlorines (OCs). OCs, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane, or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), have been associated with various biological effects in marine mammals. We measured these compounds in whole blood of free-ranging Steller sea lion pups in order to determine the extent and magnitude of contamination across their geographical range. Of 212 pups analyzed for OCs, 76 pups (36 females and 40 males) were from western Alaska and the other 136 (63 females and 73 males) were from the Russian Far East. Concentrations of summation SigmaPCBs in the whole blood of pups from western Alaska ranged from 0.21 to 13 ng/g wet weight with a mean of 2.1+/-0.27 ng/g wet weight. In the Russian animals, summation SigmaPCB concentrations in the whole blood of pups ranged from 0.33 to 36 ng/g wet weight with a mean of 4.3+/-0.44 ng/g wet weight. summation SigmaDDT concentrations in the whole blood of pups from western Alaska ranged from 0.18 to 11 ng/g wet weight with a mean of 1.6+/-0.23 ng/g wet weight. In Russia, summation SigmaDDT in the whole blood of pups ranged from undetectable to 26 ng/g wet weight with a mean of 3.3+/-0.36 ng/g wet weight. Average OC concentrations were significantly higher in the blood of Russian animals compared to western Alaska (for PCBs and DDTs, p<0.001) and in both areas females had higher concentrations than males. Male pups from western Alaska had significantly lower levels of summation SigmaPCBs and summation SigmaDDT when compared to male pups from Russia (for PCBs and DDTs p<0.001). Female pups from western Alaska were significantly lower in summation SigmaPCBs than Russian female pups (for PCBs p=0.009) as were female pups for summation SigmaDDT levels between areas (for DDTs p=0.026). OC contaminants data indicate that Steller sea lion pups have measurable concentrations of these synthetic chemicals. While any physiological effect and the specific role these chemicals may have in either the decline or the failure of the endangered Steller sea lion population to recover needs to be further investigated, this study indicates specific areas and animals that may be most at risk.
Matthew J Myers; Gina M Ylitalo; Margaret M Krahn; Daryle Boyd; Don Calkins; Vladimir Burkanov; Shannon Atkinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-04-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Science of the total environment     Volume:  396     ISSN:  0048-9697     ISO Abbreviation:  Sci. Total Environ.     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-05-06     Completed Date:  2008-08-05     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330500     Medline TA:  Sci Total Environ     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  60-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Alaska SeaLife Center, 301 Railway Ave., PO Box 1329, Seward, AK 99664, United States.
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MeSH Terms
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / blood*,  pharmacokinetics
Sea Lions / blood*
Sensitivity and Specificity
Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
Water Pollutants, Chemical / blood*,  pharmacokinetics
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated; 0/Water Pollutants, Chemical

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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