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Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants in Lake Ontario, Canada, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) between 1979 and 2004 and possible influences of food-web changes

Ismail, Nargis, Gewurtz, Sarah B., Pleskach, Kerri, Whittle, D. Michael, Helm, Paul A., Marvin, Chris H., Tomy, Gregg T.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2009 v.28 no.5 pp. 910-920
Salvelinus namaycush, food webs, fish, halogenated hydrocarbons, toxic substances, bromination, chlorination, stable isotopes, labeling techniques, technical chemicals, Lake Ontario
Concentrations of non-polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) brominated (hexabromocyclododecane [HBCD], 1,2-bis[2,4,6-tribromophenoxy]ethane [BTBPE], and pentabromoethylbenzene [PEB]) and chlorinated (Dechlorane Plus [DP] as well as short- and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins [SCCP and MCCP, respectively]) flame retardants were evaluated in archived Lake Ontario, Canada, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) samples collected between 1979 and 2004. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers also were analyzed to provide a point of reference for comparison to previous studies. Concentrations of the dominant PBDE congeners (BDEs 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) increased significantly from 1979 until the mid-1990s, then either leveled off or decreased significantly between 1998 and 2004, a result that corresponds to those of previous studies. In contrast, BDE 209 increased approximately fourfold between 1998 and 2004. The temporal trends of the non-PBDE flame retardants varied, with sum (sigma) HBCD and DP showing significant overall decreases; BTBPE, sigma SCP, and sigma MCP showing parabolic trends; and PEB showing no overall change during the study period. Because many of the non-PBDE chemicals may be used as replacements for penta- and octa-BDE mixtures, these results will provide a baseline to evaluate future usage patterns. Possible changes in food-web structure, evaluated through stable nitrogen isotopes (delta 15N), may be influencing our interpretations of contaminant trends in lake trout and are hypothesized to be partially responsible for the observed decrease in concentrations of BDEs 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154 between 1998 and 2004. Retrospective analyses evaluating temporal trends in stable isotope values at the base of the food web, however, are recommended to test this hypothesis further.