Organochlorine residues were analyzed in blubber, brain, or muscle tissues of 69 individuals representing 10 species of small cetaceans. Collections were made from November 1968 through June 1976 at localities in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and along the coasts of California, Hawaii, Japan, and Uruguay, Relations of residue concentrations between tissues are described for DDE and PCBs in two dolphin species. sigma DDT and PCB residues in blubber of most of the 19 individuals of the five southern California species sampled exceed concentrations that are associated with reproductive impairment in pinnipeds, although the nature of such associations is not well defined. The sigma DDT residue of 2,695 ppm in blubber of one California coastal Tursiops truncatus is one of the highest concentrations reported in tissues of members of any population of wild mammals. Except for one rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) from Maui, Hawaii, all individuals from all localities surveyed were contaminated with organochlorine compounds. Seventeen different organochlorines were detected; greatest diversity occurred near Japan and California. This is the first report of several of these compounds in tissues of any species of marine mammals. The o,p'-isomers and metabolites of DDT were detected unusually frequently. Ratios of p,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDE in blubber of cetaceans from waters off countries where use of this pesticide has been relatively recent and ongoing were at least an order of magnitude higher than in cetaceans from United States waters.
Additional publication details
Organochlorine pollutants in small cetaceans from the Pacific and south Atlantic Oceans, November 1968-June 1976