Toxaphene, PCB, DDT, and chlordane analyses of Beluga Whale Blubber
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Beluga whales bioaccumulate organochlorines from their environment. Blubber samples of Beluga Whales from Alaska's north coast contain organochlorines, including Toxaphene (polychlorinated camphenes) PCBs, DDTs and chlordane. Toxaphene was the organochlorine pesticide found in the highest concentration in all samples with the exception of the 6 year old male where PCBs were highest. The source of these organochlorines is likely global distillation from lower latitudes. Males had higher concentrations than females and the oldest male had higher concentration than the younger male. Females exhibit a decrease in concentrations with age. The fetus had about 10% higher concentrations for all organochlorines compared to the mother. Transplacental transfer of organochlorines and lactation lower the contaminant concentration in females. Older females have lower contaminate concentrations likely due to continual reproductive success. Consumption of older males will expose humans to higher levels of organochlorines.
author list (cited authors)
Wade, T. L., Chambers, L., Gardinali, P. R., Sericano, J., Jackson, T. J., Tarpley, R. J., & Suydam, R.