Current-use chlorophenoxy herbicides including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, dicamba, triclopyr, dicamba, dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA or dacthal), and the metabolite of pyrethroids, 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA), and the fungicide, chlorothalonil, were investigated in the eggs of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) that were collected from 15 sites from five study areas Puget Sound/Seattle area of Washington State, USA. DCPA differs from acidic chlorophenoxy herbicides, and is not readily hydrolyzed to free acid or acid metabolites, and thus we developed a new method. Of the 12 chlorophenoxy herbicides and chlorothalonil analyzed only DCPA could be quantified at six of these sites (2.0 to 10.3 pg/g fresh weight). However, higher levels (6.9 to 85.5 pg/g fresh weight) of the unexpected DCPA structural isomer, dimethyl tetrachlorophthalate (diMe-TCP) were quantified in eggs from all sites. diMe-TCP concentrations tended to be higher in eggs from the Everett Harbor area. As diMe-TCP is not an industrial product, and not commercially available, the source of diMe-TCP is unclear. Regardless, these findings indicate that DCPA and diMe-TCP can be accumulated in the food chain of fish-eating osprey, and transferred in ovo to eggs, and thus may be of concern to the health of the developing chick and the general reproductive health of this osprey population.
Additional publication details
Dachtal Isomers and Acidic Herbicides and Pesticides in Eggs of Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) from the Seattle and Everett Areas, Washington, U.S.A