Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract Polychlorinated biphenyls (∑PCB), DDT isomers (∑DDT), chlordanes (∑CHLOR), toxaphene, chlorobenzenes and hexachlorocyclohexane isomers and seven elements (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Se, Zn) were determined in tissues of 41 stranded pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) and 27 ice-entrapped white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) from Newfoundland, Canada. Cadmium, Hg, As and Se were significantly higher in pilot whale kidney and liver than in dolphin tissues. Mercury in liver and blubber, and Cd in kidney, of pilot whales were positively correlated with age. Cadmium levels in both species were much higher than reported for other cetaceans from Canadian east coast waters. Lead concentrations in dolphin kidney and mucles were 5 times higher than in pilot whales. Levels of ∑PCB (sum of 49 congeners) in blubber samples ranged from 31 to 61 mg/kg (lipid wt) in female and male dolphins, respectively, and from 5.6 to 12 mg/kg in female and male pilot whales. ∑DDT and toxaphene were present at similar levels to ∑PCB while mean ∑CHLOR (sum of seven components) ranged from 1.6 to 17 mg/kg in blubber of pilot whales and dolphins, respectively. The presence of high levels of toxaphene in the blubber of both species was unexpected and may be due to increased use of this pesticide during the 1970's. Higher levels of all organochlorine chemicals in blubber, as well as Pb in kidney and muscle, of dolphins than in pilot whales may reflect greater exposure to contaminants because of overwintering and feeding in Gulf of St. Lawrence waters.
Type of Medium: