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Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) as Bioindicators in Canadian Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Basin. 1. Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and Organochlorine Pesticides in Eggs

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posted on 01.11.2007, 00:00 by S. R. de Solla, K. J. Fernie, R. J. Letcher, S. G. Chu, K. G. Drouillard, S. Shahmiri
We examined the concentrations and spatial patterns of congeners of PBDEs, PCBs, and organochlorine pesticides in snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) eggs from Areas of Concern (AOCs) on the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and connecting channels. Eggs from Lyons Creek (Niagara River AOC) reflected a local PCB source over a range of 7.5 km (3.2 − 10.8) from the Welland Canal. PCB contamination in eggs declined with increasing distance from the Welland Canal, whereas the relative contribution of congeners associated with Aroclor 1248/1254 increased with ΣPCB concentrations. Compared to turtle eggs from other sites in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, eggs from Lyons Creek and Snye Marsh had PCB congener patterns that reflected a strong contribution from Aroclor 1254. PCBs in the eggs were associated with industrial sources and reflected the composition of different Aroclor technical mixtures. Organochlorine pesticides in eggs tended to be highest at Hamilton Harbour and Bay of Quinte AOCs, and were dominated by DDE, Σchlordane, and mirex. In contrast, PBDE congener patterns in turtle eggs resembled PentaBDE technical formulations regardless of absolute concentrations or location, and were largely associated with urban environments.

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