Subject: ABSTRACT: Organochlorines in cetaceans from western North America

Michael Williamson (
Thu, 4 Jul 1996 16:23:23 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 19:31:14 -0700
From: Robin W. Baird <rbaird@UVic.CA>
To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
Subject: ABSTRACT: Organochlorines in cetaceans from western North America

W.M. Jarman, R.J. Norstrom, D.C.G. Muir, B. Rosenberg, M. Simon and R.W.
    Baird. 1996. Levels of organochlorine compounds, including PCDDS and
    PCDFS, in the blubber of cetaceans from the west coast of North
    America. Marine Pollution Bulletin 32:426-436.

Mailing address for W.M. Jarman: Institute of Marine Sciences, University
of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA.


Levels of organochlorine compounds (PCDD, PCDF, PCB and organochlorine
pesticides) were determined in cetaceans collected from the west coast of
North America between 1986 and 1989. The samples included gray whale
(Eschrichtius robustus), killer whale (Orcinus orca), false killer whale
(Pseudorca crassidens), Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) and Dall's
porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) collected in British Columbia, and harbour
porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) collected in British Columbia and central
California. TCDD and TCDF levels ranged from 1 to 8 ng/kg and 2.0 to 109
ng/kg, respectively. The highest levels of PCDDs were found in the harbour
porpoises; the levels of 1,2,3,6,7,8- HxCDD in the samples from Victoria,
Campbell River and Qualicum River were 128, 128 and 62 ng/kg,
respectively. Five other 2,3,7,8-substituted dioxins and dibenzofurans
were detected in the cetaceans at levels ranging from 1 to 10 ng/kg. In
addition to the 2,3,7,8-substituted congeners, several non 2,3,7,8-
substituted congeners were detected. The patterns of the PCDDs and PCDFs
in the British Columbia porpoises were consistent with implication of
chlorophenols as the source of the PCDDs and PCDFs, which were either
present in wood chips used in bleached kraft paper mills, or came from
direct contamination by chlorophenols. No PCDDs or PCDFs were detected in
the California samples. One false killer whale sample had exceptionally
high levels of DDT compounds (1700 mg/kg DDE, 120 mg/kg DDT and 40 mg/kg
o,p'-DDT) and Toxaphene (89 mg/kg). PCB levels in the cetaceans were
highest in the false and killer whales (22 to 46 mg/kg GM) and lowest in
the Risso's dolphin (1.7 mg/kg). Levels of DDE in the British Columbia
harbour porpoises were 6.0 mg/kg, and probably reflect the accumulation of
global background levels of DDE.

Robin W. Baird, Ph.D.
Marine Mammal Research Group
Box 6244
Victoria, B.C.
V8P 5L5 Canada
Phone (604) 380-1925
Fax (604) 380-1206