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Perfluorinated contaminants in fur seal pups and penguin eggs from South Shetland, Antarctica

Schiavone, A., Corsolini, S., Kannan, K., Tao, L., Trivelpiece, W., Torres, D., Focardi, S.
Science of the total environment 2009 v.407 no.12 pp. 3899-3904
breeding season, eggs, liver, penguins, perfluorocarbons, pollutants, pups, seals, Antarctica
Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have emerged as a new class of global environmental pollutants. In this study, the presence of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in penguin eggs and Antarctic fur seals was reported for the first time. Tissue samples from Antarctic fur seal pups and penguin eggs were collected during the 2003/04 breeding season. Ten PFC contaminants were determined in seal and penguin samples. The PFC concentrations in seal liver were in the decreasing order, PFOS>PFNA>PFHpA>PFUnDA while in Adélie penguin eggs were PFHpA>PFUnDA>PFDA>PFDoDA, and in Gentoo penguin eggs were PFUnDA>PFOS>PFDoDA>PFHpA. The PFC concentrations differed significantly between seals and penguins (p <0.005) and a species-specific difference was found between the two species of penguins (p <0.005). In our study we found a mean concentration of PFOS in seal muscle and liver samples of 1.3 ng/g and 9.4 ng/g wet wt, respectively, and a mean concentration in Gentoo and Adélie penguin eggs of 0.3 ng/g and 0.38 ng/g wet wt, respectively. PFCs detected in penguin eggs and seal pups suggested oviparous and viviparous transfer of PFOS to eggs and off-springs.