Researchers predicted that several hundred years would be required before DDT (1,1,1 trichloro-2,2-bis [P-chlorophyl] ethane) and its metabolites were likely to decrease to nondetectable levels in Lake Michigan. But following the ban on DDT in 1970, residues of total DDT in Lake Michigan lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) declined rapidly from 10.5 I?g/g in 1970 to 5.7 I?g/g in 1976. During this period, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were being detected in lake trout tissues at about 20 I?g/g. It was hypothesized that the high level of PCBs being accumulated by fish may have influenced uptake and elimination of DDT and DDE (1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis [p-chlorophenyl] ethylene) by fish. To test this hypothesis, fingerling lake trout were exposed to various combinations of DDT, DDE (100 ng/liter), and PCBs (100 and 500 ng/liter) in water for 12 weeks. After DDT and DDE exposures were completed, exposure to PCBs was continued for an additional 16 weeks to measure any effect PCBs may have on the elimination of DDT and DDE by fish. Accumulation and elimination rates of DDT and DDE were compared. It was found that PCBs did not influence the accumulation or elimination rates of DDT or DDE in lake trout and therefore should not have had a major influence on the decline of DDT in lake trout.
Additional publication details
Influence of PCBs in water on uptake and elimination of DDT and DDE by lake trout