Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering

Dietary exposure to, and internal organ transfer of, selected halogenated organic compounds in birds eating fish from the Southern Baltic.

PMID 26121018


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a marine diet on the accumulation, magnification, maternal transfer and detoxification of chlorinated organic pollutants on the highest trophic level in the Baltic Sea. Results showed that birds eating whole herring received the highest doses of herbicides > pesticides > fungicides > polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) > polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs). The toxicity of PCDD/Fs in a penguin's 24-h alimentary exposure was estimated at 7.77 ng TEQ-WHO2005. Among pesticides, the highest concentrations--both in fish and penguin tissue--were those of the pp-DDE isomer. In terms of herbicides, simazine and terbutrine were predominant. The majority of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) underwent accumulation and magnification, and these factors were observed to increase with the birds' age. Guano was found to be an effective means of elimination for all of the studied xenobiotics. Maternal transfer of PCDD/Fs into eggs from internal tissues was most prominent for highly chlorinated dioxins and low chlorinated furans.