Levels and profiles of persistent organic pollutants in several tissues of harbour porpoises (**Phocoena phocoena**) from the Black SeaLevels and profiles of persistent organic pollutants in several tissues of harbour porpoises (**Phocoena phocoena**) from the Black Sea
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Systemic Physiological and Ecotoxicological Research (SPHERE)
71(2009), p. 001432,1-00132,5
University of Antwerp
Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are one of three cetacean species inhabiting the Black Sea. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are two types of lipophilic compounds which are banned in Europe since the 1970s (for PCBs) and 2004 (for PBDEs). Despite this, they are still present in the environment and can cause toxic effects in wildlife, including marine mammals. Recently, attention has been drawn towards the presence of naturally-produced methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs) in marine mammals. These compounds can biomagnify in the food chains, acting in the same way as the anthropogenically-produced PBDEs. This is the first study to report on PBDEs and naturally-produced compounds (MeO-PBDEs and PBHDs) in tissues (kidney, brain, blubber, liver, muscle) from male harbour porpoises (11 adults, 9 juveniles) from the Black Sea. Lipid-normalized concentrations decreased from muscle > blubber > liver > kidney > brain for the sum of PCBs and of PBDEs. Among the naturally-produced compounds, levels of PBHDs were higher than of MeO-PBDEs with tri-BHD and 6-MeO-BDE 47 being dominant for both groups, respectively. Concentrations of naturally-produced compounds decreased from blubber to brain, a profile which was the same as for the sum of DDXs. Concentrations of DDXs were highest, followed by PCBs, HCB, PBHDs, PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs. Levels of PCBs and PBDEs in blubber were lower than concentrations reported for blubber of harbour porpoises from the North Sea.