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Franciscana dolphins as PCBs marine biomonitors in Argentina, south-west Atlantic Ocean

  • Andrés H. Arias (a1) (a2) (a3), María V. Panebianco (a4) (a5) (a6), Sopheak Net (a7), David Dumoulin (a7), Sami Souissi (a8), Baghdad Ouddane (a7), Humberto L. Cappozzo (a3) (a4) (a5) and Jorge E. Marcovecchio (a1) (a2) (a9)...
Abstract

Including a multi-year collection of samples (2004–2011) the present research fills 20 years of an information gap regarding the PCB burden in south-west Atlantic franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) while aiming to test the null hypothesis that PCBs congeners are increasingly bioaccumulating in south-west Atlantic specimens in relation to northern hemisphere records. In addition, the present survey analyses indicators of potential biological impairment associated to PCBs tissue burden. The results could associate each sampling area group of dolphins to one or two Aroclor® patterns and point to dominant regional diffuse sources entering PCBs mixtures to the marine environment with a possible regional/long-range atmospheric contribution. In addition, total PCB levels were from four to seven times lower than the closer precedents for the area (18–26 years ago) indicating a progress in the environmental release and biota exposure of PCBs and posing an objective indicator of success of the present international elimination programme. Further, when compared with regional and global bioaccumulation patterns, PCBs congeners in Argentinean specimens appeared to occur in a decreasing tendency. Finally, calculated TEQs TCDD levels raised a concern in regards to environmental safety, showing guideline values to be widely exceeded and the occasional occurrence of positive correlations between PCBs bioaccumulation vs. sexual immaturity.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to:A.H. Arias, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Av. Rivadavia 1917 (C1033AAJ), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina email: aharias@iado-conicet.gov.ar
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