[MARMAM] New article: PBDE flame retardants and PCBs in Steller sea lions (BC, Canada)

Juan Alava jj_alava at yahoo.com
Fri May 4 10:33:50 PDT 2012

Dear colleagues,

Please, find below the abstract of a new contribution regarding the first assessment of PBDE flame retardants and PCBs in overwintering Steller sea lion in BC, Canada.

If you would like a pdf copy of the article in press, please feel free to request the paper to jalavasa at sfu.ca  (Juan José Alava). 

Juan Jose Alava

Available online 2 May 2012
In Press, Corrected Proof

PBDE flame retardants and PCBs in migrating Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada
	* J. J. Alava, D. Lambourn, P. Olesiuk, M. Lance, S. J. Jeffries, F. A.P.C. Gobas, P. S. Ross
	* http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.03.094


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls 
(PCBs) were measured in blubber biopsy samples from 22 live-captured 
Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) that had just entered 
the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada, for their overwintering feeding season. ∑PBDE ranged from 50 μg kg−1 (lipid weight) in adult females to 3780 μg kg−1 in subadult individuals. ∑PCBs ranged from 272 μg kg−1 in adult females to 14 280 μg kg−1 in subadult individuals. While most PBDE and PCB congeners were transferred through milk to pups, PCBs with log KOW > 7.0 (PCBs 206, 207, 208 and 209) appeared constrained, resulting in a 
lighter mixture in pups compared to adult females. The ratio of 
individual PCB congeners by metabolic group (Groups I, II, III, IV and 
V) to PCB-153 regressed against length of males suggested poor 
biotransformation of these compounds (slopes did not differ from zero, p > 0.05). PBDE congeners 49, 99, 153 and 183 appeared bioaccumulative (slopes of 
ratio BDE/PCB 153 versus length were higher than zero, p < 0.05), but the dominance of the single congener, BDE-47 (64% of total PBDEs), 
likely due in part to debromination pathways, reduced our ability to 
explore congener-specific dynamics of PBDEs in these pinnipeds. With 80% of our Steller sea lions exceeding a recent toxicity reference value 
for PCBs, the fasting-associated mobilization of these contaminants 
raises concerns about a heightened vulnerability to adverse effects 
during annual migrations.

► PCBs and PBDEs were found at moderately high levels in Steller sea 
lions. ► Biotransformation was only evident for a limited number of PCB 
and PBDE congeners. ► 80% of the sea lions had PCB levels that exceeded 
toxicity threshold in pinnipeds.
	* Steller sea lions; 
	* PBDEs; 
	* PCBs; 
	* Maternal transfer; 
	* Metabolism; 
	* Bioaccumulation

Juan Jose Alava, PhD 
Research Associate 
School of Resource & Environmental Management 
(Environmental Toxicology Research Group) 
Faculty of Environment, Simon Fraser University 
TASC-1; Office 8420; 8888 University Drive 
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, CANADA 
Office Phone: (778) 782-7375 
Fax: (778)782-4968 
E-mail: jalavasa at sfu.ca 

Collaborating Scientist 
Charles Darwin Foundation 
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, 
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 
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