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Levels and Trends of Brominated Diphenyl Ethers in Blubber of Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from the U.K., 1992−2008

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posted on 2010-06-15, 00:00 authored by Robin J. Law, Jon Barry, Philippe Bersuder, Jonathan L. Barber, Rob Deaville, Robert J. Reid, Paul D. Jepson
Controls were placed on the production and use of the penta-mix polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) formulation within the European Union in 2004. In porpoises stranded or bycaught around the U.K., BDE congeners from this product predominate. Lipid-normalized concentrations of 9 (summed) BDE congeners in the blubber of 415 porpoises sampled during the period 1992−2008 have been investigated for possible time trends resulting from the regulatory action. Our analysis suggests that, overall, median Σ9BDE concentrations peaked around 1998 and have since reduced by between 53.8% and 73.5% to 2008. Our best point estimate is that the reduction has been 67.6%. This decline was highly statistically significant (p < 0.001) and was not confounded by a range of other factors which were also considered (area, season, nutritional status, bycaught/stranded, and age class).

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