Subject: Beluga paper (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 23 Jul 1998 10:17:46 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 14:33:32 -0400
From: Julie Gauthier <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: New beluga paper

Dear Marmamers,

Here is a new paper that some of you may be interested in.  UNFORTUNATELY,
WE HAVE ONLY HAVE ABOUT 5 REPRINTS LEFT.  I will send them out to the first
5 or so people that ask for a reprint and apologize in advance for all
unanswered following requests=20

Gauthier, J.M., =C9. Pelletier, C. Brochu, S. Moore, C.D. Metcalfe, and P.
B=E9land.  1998.  Environmental contaminants in tissues of a neonate St.
Lawrence beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas).  Marine Pollution Bulletin
36(1): 102-108.


        Tissue samples of brain, kidney, liver and blubber from a neonate S=
Lawrence beluga whale were analyzed for ortho and non-ortho polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCB) congeners, organochlorine (OC) compounds, polychlorinated
dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) congeners and total mercury.
As g-globulins, which indicate presence of colostrum, were not found in
serum of the live neonate, it was unlikely that there had been lactational
transfer of environmental contaminants to the neonate.  No PCDFs were
detected.  Of the PCDD congeners, only OCDD was found in all tissues;
ranging from 12 pg/g lipid in brain to 1138 pg/g in liver.  Concentrations
of SPCB (sum of 25 ortho and 4 non-ortho PCBs) and SDDT were lowest in
brain (1.7 and 0.7 ug/g  lipid, respectively), intermediate in kidney (4.1
and 2.3 ug/g) and highest in liver (8.8 and 3.5 ug/g) and blubber (17.6 and
2.2 ug/g).  PCB 126 was the predominant non-ortho congener.  Toxic
equivalent 2,3,7,8-TCDD concentrations (TEQs) (pg/g lipid) were: mono-ortho
> non-ortho PCBs > PCDDs.  Major individual OC compounds were DDE, HCB,
oxychlordane and cis-nonachlor.  Similar PCB and OC patterns were found for
different tissues, with the exception of a-HCH in brain.  Total mercury was
detected in liver, kidney and brain at concentrations of 49-145 ng/g (wet
weight).  Concentrations of PCBs, OCs and mercury in the neonate were lower
than or in the lower range of those found in published data on female adult
beluga whales of the St. Lawrence, and this is probably due to absence of
lactational transfer of contaminants in the neonate.  Proportions of lower
chlorinated PCBs, HCB and HCH compounds were greater in the neonate than in
these female whales, which may indicate preferential gestational transfer
of these compounds. =20
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Julie Gauthier

Julie Gauthier (=E9tudiante au Ph.D. student)
Universit=E9 du Qu=E9bec =E0 Montr=E9al
D=E9partement des Sciences Biologiques
C. P. 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville
Montr=E9al, Qu=E9bec, Canada, H3C 3P8
tel: 514 987 3000 (ext. 8287 or 3787)
fax: 514 987 4647