Main content area

Analysis and Characterization of Polychlorinated Hydroxybornanes as Metabolites of Toxaphene Using a Polar Bear Model

Reger, Lea, Gallistl, Christoph, Skírnisson, Karl, Vetter, Walter
Environmental science & technology 2017 v.51 no.15 pp. 8335-8342
Ursus maritimus, adipose tissue, adsorption, countercurrent chromatography, environmental science, fractionation, gel chromatography, hydroxylation, isomers, lipids, liver, metabolites, models, oxidation, polychlorinated biphenyls, silica gel, toxaphene
Abiotic and biotic transformation of toxaphene (camphechlor) results in the selective enrichment of recalcitrant congeners while other, less persistent compounds of technical toxaphene (CTTs) are degraded. Until now, there has been little knowledge on oxidation transformation of toxaphene. For instance, the existence of hydroxylated CTTs (OH-CTTs) in authentic environmental and food samples has not been proven. For this reason, we synthesized a mixture consisting of tetra- to heptachlorinated OH-CTTs and simplified it by countercurrent chromatography (CCC). Thus, 227 OH-CTTs were detected in the CCC fractions (12 tetra-, 117 penta-, 81 hexa-, and 17 heptachlorinated OH-CTTs), which was >50% more than detected before the fractionation. One CCC fraction consisting of only 18 OH-CTTs was used to develop a sample cleanup method which aimed to remove CTTs, isobaric PCBs, and sample matrix. The final cleanup procedure consisted of (i) gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and adsorption chromatography using (ii) deactivated and (iii) activated silica gel. Hence, up to 320 and 4350 μg/kg lipid weight of octa- and nonachlorinated CTTs were detected in four liver samples and adipose tissue of polar bears, respectively. Furthermore, the presence of one hexachlorinated OH-CTT isomer could be verified in the samples, which was about 1% of the octachlorinated CTTs determined in the liver samples.