Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are readily detected in biological samples at remote sites in the Arctic and sub-Arctic due to long-range transport from source areas. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of POPs, polybrominated contaminants and their metabolites in guillemot (Uria aalge) eggs from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Sweden to assess spatial trends of these compounds in the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas of Europe. Egg samples were extracted, and cleaned for chemical analysis. Concentrations of PCBs, 4,4'-DDE and beta-HCH were an order of magnitude higher in eggs from the Baltic Proper compared to eggs from the North Atlantic. Concentrations of HCB were of the same magnitude at all sites, ranging from 160 to 520 ng/g fat. Concentration of BCPS was 100 times higher in eggs from the Baltic compared to eggs from the North Atlantic and seems therefore to be special regional problem. Concentrations of PBDEs were lower in eggs from the North Atlantic compared to eggs from the Baltic Proper but the difference was not as large as for PCBs and 4,4'-DDE. HBCDD showed the same spatial trend as PCBs, where the concentrations in eggs from the Baltic Proper were an order of magnitude higher than in eggs from the North Atlantic. OH-PCB and MeSO(2)-PCB metabolites of PCBs, showed the same trend as the parent compounds while spatial trends of MeSO(2)-DDE and OH-PBDEs, metabolites of 4,4'-DDE and PBDEs, respectively, differed from the trend of the parent compounds. This may be due to two factors; firstly, the limited ability of birds to metabolise DDT, and secondly, to natural production of OH-PBDE, respectively. Guillemot is suggested as a monitoring species for circumpolar monitoring.
Lack of human exposure data is frequently reported as a critical gap in risk assessments of environmental pollutants, especially regarding "new" pollutants. The objectives of this study were to assess serum levels of the persistent 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153), hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyl metabolites (OH-PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and hexabromocyclodode-canes (HBCDDs) in a group of Swedish middle-aged and elderly women expected to be relatively highly exposed, and to evaluate the impact of potential determinants (e.g., fish intake, age) for the inter-individual variation, as well as to investigate the association between these pollutants and bone density. No associations were found between bone mineral density or biochemical markers of bone metabolism and the analyzed environmental pollutants. Relatively high levels of CB-153 (median 260 ng/g fat) and sigma 3-OH-PCBs (median 1.7 ng/mL serum), and low concentrations of sigma6PBDEs (median 3.6 ng/g fat) were determined. Total level of HBCDDs in serum was quantified by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (median 0.5 ng/g fat). HBCDD diastereomeric and enantiomeric patterns were determined by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection. The dominating stereoisomer was (-)alpha-HBCDD, but 1-3% of gamma-HBCDD was also detected in the serum samples.
BACKGROUND: An important question is whether human serum levels of persistent organic pollutants has continued to decrease during the last decades. The aim of this study was to assess intra-individual variations over time of serum levels of 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153), 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethene (p,p'-DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), considering the impact of a number of possible determinants. METHODS: Blood samples were drawn for the same 39 subjects in 1991 and 2001. Interviews were made at both occasions. Lipid adjusted serum concentrations of CB-153, p,p'-DDE and HCB were determined in both sets of blood samples using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The fatty acid composition of the serum lipids was analyzed by means of gas-liquid chromatography. RESULT: The CB-153 concentrations in serum had averagely decreased with 34% in between 1991 and 2001 (p