[MARMAM] New publication: Organophosphate contaminants in North Atlantic fin whales (Odei Garcia-Garin)

Odei Garcia-Garin odei.garcia19 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 17 09:07:16 PDT 2020

Dear MARMAM list members,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our recent study:

*Organophosphate contaminants in North Atlantic fin whales*

*Garcia-Garin, O., Sala, B., Aguilar, A., Vighi, M., Víkingsson, G. A.,
Chosson, V., Eljarrat, E., & Borrell, A. (2020). Organophosphate
contaminants in North Atlantic fin whales. *Science of the Total
Environment*, *721.* 137768. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2019.183135*

Pollution of the marine environment by litter composed of plastics is a
growing concern. Chemical additives such as organophosphate flame
retardants (OPFRs), which are added to plastics to improve their qualities,
are in focus because they allegedly cause adverse effects on marine fauna.
Here we analyse OPFR levels in the muscle of fin whales because, as a
mysticete, this cetacean obtains its food by filter-feeding and is thus
highly vulnerable to marine litter. Moreover, the fin whale performs
long-range migrations from low-latitude areas in winter to high-latitude
areas in summer, a trait that makes it a potentially good large-scale
biomonitor of pollution. We also analyse OPFR levels in its main prey, the
krill *Meganyctiphanes norvegica*, to assess transfer through diet. The
samples analysed consisted of muscle tissue from 20 fin whales and
whole-body homogenates of 10 krill samples, all collected off West Iceland.
>From the 19 OPFRs analysed, we detected 7 in the fin whale and 5 in the
krill samples. Tri-n-butyl phosphate (TNBP), Isopropylated triphenyl
phosphate (IPPP) and Triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) were the most abundant
compounds found in both species. Mean ∑OPFR concentration, expressed on a
lipid weight basis, was 985 (SD = 2239) ng g−1 in fin whale muscle, and 949
(SD = 1090)  ng  g−1 in krill homogenates. These results constitute the
first evidence of the presence of OPFRs in the tissues of fin whales.
Furthermore, they seem to support the non-significance of bioaccumulation
of OPFRs through lifespan and of biomagnification trough the food web.

The paper can be accessed using the following link:

Or send me an e-mail (odei.garcia at ub.edu) for the full text.

All the best,

Odei Garcia-Garin
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