Concentrations of PCBs, DDTs (p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD and p,p'-DDT), HCHs (α-, β-, γ-isomers), chlordanes (trans-chlordane, cis-chlordane, trans-nonachlor, cis-nonachlor and oxychlordane) and HCB (hexachlorobenzene were measured in liver, kidney and brain tissues of adult southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) found stranded along coastal California, USA, during 1992–96. The contamination pattern of organochlorines in sea otters from several locations was in the order of DDTs > PCBs > > CHLs > HCHs > > HCB, whereas those from Monterey Harbor contained greater concentrations of PCBs than of DDTs. Hepatic concentrations of PCBs and DDTs were in the ranges of 58–8700 and 280–5900 ng/g, wet weight, respectively, which varied depending on the geographic location. Sea otters collected from Monterey Harbor contained the greatest concentrations of PCBs and DDTs. In general, accumulation of DDTs, CHLs and PCBs was greater in kidney than in liver, whereas that of HCHs was similar in both the tissues. The gender difference in organochlorine concentrations was less than those reported in cetaceans. The composition of DDTs, HCHs and CHLs compounds in sea otter tissues indicated no recent inputs of these compounds in coastal California. Sea otters that died from infectious diseases, neoplasia and emaciation contained higher concentrations of DDTs than those that died from trauma.
Additional Publication Details
Accumulation pattern of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in sourthern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) found stranded along coastal California, USA