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See detailCould the chemical contamination be the cause of the increase in the number of stranded harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) along the Southern North Sea?
Mahfouz, C.; Henry, F.; Pezeril, S. et al

in Environmental Research (2014)

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See detailMobilisation of lipophilic pollutants from blubber in northern elephant seal pups (Mirounga angustirostris) during the post-weaning fast
Louis, Caroline; Dirtu, Alin C.; Stas, Marie et al

in Environmental Research (2014), 132

Northern elephant seals (NES) (Mirounga angustirostris) from the Año Nuevo State Reserve (CA, USA) were longitudinally sampled during the post-weaning fast in order to study the mobilisation and ... [more ▼]

Northern elephant seals (NES) (Mirounga angustirostris) from the Año Nuevo State Reserve (CA, USA) were longitudinally sampled during the post-weaning fast in order to study the mobilisation and redistribution of various classes of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) between blubber and blood. Inner and outer blubber layers were analysed separately. Organohalogenated compounds were detected in all blubber samples in the decreasing order of their concentrations: p,p′-DDE>PCBs⪢HCB>PBDEs. The concentrations of all studied compounds were homogeneously distributed in the blubber layer at early fast, since the concentrations of POPs were statistically not different in the inner and outer layers. With the progression of the fast, the concentrations of PBDEs, PCBs and p,p′-DDE increased more sharply in inner blubber than in outer blubber. As a result, their levels became significantly higher in inner blubber as compared to outer blubber at late fast. The rise of pollutant concentrations in blubber might result from a less efficient mobilisation than triglycerides and/or a reuptake by adipocytes of some of the pollutants released into the circulation. The mobilisation of pollutants from blubber was higher at late fast. An increase of pollutant concentrations was observed in serum between early and late fast. Lower halogenated congeners (i.e. tetra-CBs) were present in higher proportions in serum, whereas the higher halogenated congeners (i.e. hepta-CBs) were mainly found in the inner and outer blubber layers. The transfer ratios of both PBDEs and PCBs from inner blubber to serum decreased with the number of chlorine and bromine atoms. In addition, the distribution of both types of compounds between serum and blubber was strongly influenced by their lipophilic character (log Kow values), with more lipophilic compounds being less efficiently released from blubber to serum. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of polychlorobiphenyls, polybromodiphenylethers, organochlorine pesticides and their metabolites on vitamin A status in lactating grey seals
Vanden Berghe, M; Weijs, L; Habran, Sarah ULg et al

in Environmental Research (2013), 120(18-26),

Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), polybromodiphenylethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) are considered to be endocrine ... [more ▼]

Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), polybromodiphenylethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) are considered to be endocrine disruptors in laboratory and wild animals. This study investigated whether these compounds and their hydroxylated metabolites (HO-PCBs and HO-PBDEs) may affect the homeostasis of vitamin A, a dietary hormone, in the blubber and serum of twenty lactating grey seals sampled at early and late lactation on the Isle of May, Scotland. The effect of naturally produced compounds such as the methoxylated (MeO)-PBDEs was also examined. Vitamin A levels in inner blubber (37 ± 9 µg/g wet weight (ww) and 92 ± 32 µg/g ww at early and late lactation, respectively) and serum (408 ± 143 ng/ml and 390 ± 98 ng/ml at early and late lactation, respectively) appeared to be positively related to ΣPCBs, ΣPBDEs and several individual PCB and PBDE congeners in inner blubber and serum. These findings may suggest an enhanced mobilisation of hepatic retinoid stores and a redistribution in the blubber, a storage site for vitamin A in marine mammals, before the onset of lactation. We also reported that serum concentrations of ΣHO-PCBs and 4-OH-CB107 tended to increase circulating vitamin A levels. Although the direction of the relationships may sometimes differ from those reported in the literature, our results are in agreement with previous findings highlighting a disruption of vitamin A homeostasis in the blubber and bloodstream following exposure to environmental pollutants. Previous studies have shown an interesting parallelism between the mobilisation and transfer of vitamin A and those of PCBs in lactating grey seals, contrary to other lipophilic molecules such as vitamin E (Debier et al. 2004; Vanden Berghe et al. 2010). The fact that vitamin A and PCBs appeared to share common mechanisms during this particular physiological state in grey seals (lactation coupled to a total fasting) may also play a role in the different relationships observed between vitamin A and lipophilic pollutants. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of gender and season on reduced glutathione concentration and energy reserves of Gammarus roeseli
Gismondi, Eric ULg; Beisel, Jean-Nicolas; Cossu-Leguille, Carole

in Environmental Research (2012), 118

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See detailDeterminants of serum concentrations of 1,1 dichloro 2,2 bis (p-chlorophenyl)ethylene and polychlorinated biphenyls among French women in the CECILE study
Bachelet, D.; Truong, T.; Verner, M.-A. et al

in Environmental Research (2011), 111

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See detailPesticide exposure of pregnant women in Guadeloupe: Ability of a food frequency questionnaire to estimate blood concentration of chlordecone
Guldner, Laurence; Multigner, Luc; Héraud, Fanny et al

in Environmental Research (2010), 110(2), 146-151

Context Chlordecone, an environmentally persistent organochlorine insecticide used intensively in banana culture in the French West Indies until 1993, has permanently polluted soils and contaminated ... [more ▼]

Context Chlordecone, an environmentally persistent organochlorine insecticide used intensively in banana culture in the French West Indies until 1993, has permanently polluted soils and contaminated foodstuffs. Consumption of contaminated food is the main source of exposure nowadays. We sought to identify main contributors to blood chlordecone concentration (BCC) and to validate an exposure indicator based on food intakes.Material and methods We used a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) completed by a sample of 194 pregnant women to estimate their dietary exposure to chlordecone and compared it to blood levels. In a first approach, chlordecone daily intake was estimated as the product of daily eaten quantity of 214 foodstuffs, multiplied by their chlordecone content, and summed over all items. We then predicted individual blood chlordecone concentration with empirical weight regression models based on frequency of food consumption, and without contamination data.Results Among the 191 subjects who had BCC determination, 146 (76%) had detectable values and mean BCC was 0.86†ng/mL (range < LOD-13.2). Mean per capita dietary intake of chlordecone was estimated at 3.3†[mu]g/day (range: 0.1-22.2). Blood chlordecone levels were significantly correlated with food exposure predicted from the empirical weight models (r=0.47, p<0.0001) and, to a lesser extent, with chlordecone intake estimated from food consumption and food contamination data (r=0.20, p=0.007). Main contributors to chlordecone exposure included seafood, root vegetables, and Cucurbitaceous.Conclusion These results show that the Timoun FFQ provides valid estimates of chlordecone exposure. Estimates from empirical weight models correlated better with blood levels of chlordecone than did estimates from the dietary intake assessment. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Belgian PCB/dioxin incident: analysis of the food chain contamination and health risk evaluation.
Bernard, Alfred; Broeckaert, Fabrice; De Poorter, Geert et al

in Environmental Research (2002), 88(1), 1-18

The Belgian PCB incident occurred at the end of January 1999 when a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated with dioxins was accidentally added to a stock of recycled fat used in the ... [more ▼]

The Belgian PCB incident occurred at the end of January 1999 when a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated with dioxins was accidentally added to a stock of recycled fat used in the production of animal feeds. Although signs of poultry poisoning were noticed by February, 1999, the source and the extent of the contamination were discovered only in May 1999, when it appeared that more than 2500 farms could have been supplied with contaminated feeds. This resulted in a major food crisis, which rapidly extended to the whole country and could be resolved only by the implementation of a large PCB/dioxin food monitoring program. Screening for PCB contamination was based on the determination of the seven PCB markers. When PCB concentrations exceeded the tolerance levels of 0.1 (milk), 0.2 (poultry, bovine, and pig meat), or 1 (animal feed) microg/g fat, dioxins (17 PCDD/Fs congeners) were also determined. At the end of December 1999, the database contained the results of more than 55,000 PCB and 500 dioxin analyses. The study of PCB levels and profiles in contaminated feeds delivered to poultry or pig farms confirmed that the Belgian PCB incident was due to a single source of PCB oil introduced into the food chain at the end of January 1999. This PCB oil had a congeners pattern closely matched to a mixture of Aroclor 1260/1254 in the proportion 75/25. The total amount of PCBs added to recycled fats was estimated at 50 kg (sum of the seven markers) or approximately 150 kg total PCBs, which corresponds to about 100 liters of PCB oil. This PCB mixture contained about 1g TEQ dioxins (more than 90- contributed by PCDFs) and about 2g TEQ dioxin-like PCBs. The proportions of PCB 52 and 101 congeners were fairly constant in animal feeds, excluding the possibility of secondary contamination due to fat recycling from contaminated animals. The highest concentrations of PCBs and dioxins were found in poultry and especially in the reproduction animals (hens and chicks), which showed the classical manifestations of chick edema disease. The pigs were also affected but to a lesser extent and no sign of intoxication was observed. The study of PCB/dioxin patterns and of the PCB:dioxin ratios revealed major differences in the metabolism of these compounds by farm animals. Whereas the PCBs:dioxins ratio was fairly constant in all poultry products with a mean value similar to that found in contaminated feeds (50,000), in pigs this ratio was both much higher and more variable (values up to 10,000,000), reflecting a faster elimination of dioxins than PCBs in these animals. These metabolic differences also emerged from the PCB and dioxin patterns which were altered much more in pigs than in poultry. Although the most contaminated food products (chicken meat) had PCB and dioxin levels more than 100 times above maximal recommended values, it is unlikely that this incident could have caused adverse effects in the general population of Belgium. A doubling of the PCB and dioxin burden of the young adult population would require the consumption of, respectively, 10 and 20 highly contaminated meals. In view of the very limited proportion of the poultry chain effectively contaminated during the incident (around 2%), such an extreme scenario was quite improbable for the general population except perhaps for farmers consuming their own products. But even in that case, it would have meant going back to the levels in the 1980s or attaining the body burden of subjects regularly eating contaminated seafood. [less ▲]

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See detailHeavy Metals Contamination and Body Condition of Wintering Guillemots (Uria Aalge) at the Belgian Coast from 1993 to 1998
Debacker, Virginie ULg; Jauniaux, Thierry ULg; Coignoul, Freddy ULg et al

in Environmental Research (2000), A84(3), 310-317

A sample of 166 common guillemots (Uria aalge) recovered from Belgian beaches during five wintering seasons, from 1993-1994 to 1997-1998, were examined. At necropsy, postmortem examination including body ... [more ▼]

A sample of 166 common guillemots (Uria aalge) recovered from Belgian beaches during five wintering seasons, from 1993-1994 to 1997-1998, were examined. At necropsy, postmortem examination including body mass, fat reserves, presence or not of intestinal contents, eventual status of oiling, and pathological changes (cachexia, acute hemorrhagic gastroenteropathy (GEAH)) was attributed to each individual. Mild to severe cachexia, a pathology characterized by moderate to severe atrophy of the pectoral muscle as well as reduced amounts or absence of subcutaneous and/or abdominal fat, was observed for most specimens (85.8%). Heavy metal analyses (Cu, Zn, Fe, Cd, Ni, Cr, and Pb) of the tissues (typically liver, kidney, and pectoral muscle) were performed, and total lipids were determined (liver and pectoral muscle). The guillemots collected at the Belgian coast exhibited higher Cu and Zn concentrations compared to individuals collected in more preserved areas of the North Sea such as the northern colonies. A general decrease of their total body mass as well as liver, kidney, and pectoral muscle mass was associated to increasing cachexia severity. Moreover, significantly increasing heavy metal levels (Cu and Zn) in the tissues as well as depleted muscle lipid contents were observed parallel to increasing cachexia severity. On the contrary the organs' total metal burden barely correlates to this status. These observations tend to indicate a general redistribution of heavy metals within the organs as a result of prolonged starvation and protein catabolism (cachectic status). Such a redistribution could well be an additional stress to birds already experiencing stressfull conditions (starvation, oiling). [less ▲]

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