Levels of Organochlorines (DDT, PCBs, Toxaphene, Chlordane, Dieldrin, and HCHs) in Blubber of South African Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) from Cape Cross/Namibia

Publication Year:

Organochlorines (DDT, toxaphene, PCBs, chlordane, HCHs, dieldrin) were quantified in the blubber of eleven fur seals of the species Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus. The sample clean-up included microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), adsorption chromatography on silica gel and quantitation with GC/ECD. Compounds of technical toxaphene (CTTs) were determined after separation from the PCBs. Highest levels arose for p,p′-DDE (7–1000 μg/kg). A so far unknown compound labelled Q1 caused the second most abundant peak in the samples. Q1 was identified as a heptachloro compound by GC/MS in the electron capture negative ionisation and electron impact ionisation mode. Levels of Q1 were estimated relative to the ECD response factor of trans-nonachlor. These estimated Q1 levels ranged from 27 to 351 μg/kg being in the range or higher than the levels of PCBs (6–697 μg/kg), toxaphene (10–97 μg/kg), chlordane (3–159 μg/kg), and dieldrin (4–36 μg/kg). One sample which showed significantly higher DDT and PCB levels (but not toxaphene, dieldrin, Q1, and chlordane) than the others is most likely migrated from an area higher polluted with DDT and PCBs. Another one showed very low levels which were not explained. Except these samples, the levels determined in the blubber were among the lower levels reported for this kind of tissue. The data also confirmed that the organochlorine levels in Africa are varying from region to region, and that there is still a need for further research. Keywords: South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus), Namibia, chlorinated hydrocarbons, DDT, PCBs, Toxaphene, Q1.

Publication Title:

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Item Type:
Journal Article

EIS custom tag descriptions