Relationships between polychlorinated biphenyls and health status in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranded in the United Kingdom

Jepson, Paul D. and Bennett, Peter M. and Deaville, Robert and Allchin, Colin R. and Baker, John R. and Law, Robin J. (2005) Relationships between polychlorinated biphenyls and health status in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranded in the United Kingdom. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24 (1). pp. 238-248. ISSN 0730-7268. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1897/03-663.1

Abstract

To investigate possible relationships between polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure and infectious disease mortality in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in United Kingdom waters, summed blubber concentrations of 25 chlorobiphenyl congeners (Sigma25CB) in healthy harbor porpoises that died of acute physical trauma (mainly by-catch; n = 175) were compared with Sigma25CB values in animals that died of infectious disease (n = 82). The infectious disease group had significantly greater Sigma25CB values (mean, 27.6 mg/kg lipid) than the physical trauma group (mean, 13.6 mg/kg lipid; p < 0.001). This association occurred independently of other potentially confounding variables, including age, sex, two indices of nutritional status, season, region, and year found. Total blubber PCB levels (as Aroclor 1254) were also calculated, enabling direct comparison with a proposed threshold for adverse health effects (including immunosuppression) in marine mammals of 17 mg/kg lipid. In porpoises with total PCB levels greater than 17 mg/kg lipid (n = 154), total PCB levels were significantly higher in the infectious disease group compared to the physical trauma group (p < 0.001). This association was no longer significant in porpoises with total PCB levels of less than 17 mg/kg lipid (n = 103; p > 0.55). These findings are consistent with a causal (immunotoxic) relationship between PCB exposure and infectious disease mortality, and they provide a framework for future quantitative risk-assessment analyses of porpoise populations of known size and PCB exposure.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 880XW Times Cited: 28 Cited Reference Count: 41
Uncontrolled keywords: polychlorinated biphenyls harbor porpoise immunosuppression infectious disease ecotoxicology ORGANOCHLORINE COMPOUNDS REPRODUCTIVE TRANSFER RISK ASSESSMENT MARINE MAMMALS BRITISH WATERS FISHING GEAR ENGLAND CETACEANS WALES CHLOROBIPHENYLS
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: C.G.W.G. van-de-Benderskum
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2008 15:14
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2014 10:37
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/7514 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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