Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in eggs may reduce reproductive success of ospreys in Oregon and Washington, USA

By: , and 



Spatial and temporal assessments and reports of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in birds remain sparse. In the present study, PBDEs were detected in all 120 osprey (Pandion haliaetus) eggs collected. The eggs were collected from nests along the Columbia, Willamette and Yakima rivers of Oregon (OR) and Washington (WA) and in Puget Sound (WA) between 2002 and 2007. PBDE congeners: 17, 28, 47, 49, 66, 85, 99, 100, 138, 153, 154 (possible coelution with brominated biphenyl 153 [BB153]), 183, 190 (detected in one egg), 209 (not detected), and BB101 (only detected in 2006 and 2007) and total-??-hexabromocyclododecane (only detected in five eggs) were analyzed for in the egg samples. Eggs from reservoirs in the forested headwaters of the Willamette River (2002) contained the lowest concentrations of ???PBDEs (geometric mean [range], 98 [55.2-275] ng/g wet weight [ww]), while those from the middle Willamette River (2006) contained the highest (897 [507-1,880] ng/g ww). Concentrations in eggs from the Columbia River progressively increased downstream from Umatilla, OR (River Mile [RM] 286) to Skamokoa, WA (RM 29), which indicated additive PBDE sources along the river. In general, regardless of the year of egg collection, differences in PBDE concentrations reported in osprey eggs along the three major rivers studied (Columbia, Willamette and Yakima) seem to reflect differences in river flow (dilution effect) and the extent of human population and industry (source inputs) along the rivers. PBDE concentrations increased over time at two locations (Seattle, WA; Columbia River, RM 29-84) where temporal patterns could be evaluated. Only during 2006 (on the middle Willamette River, RM 61-157) and 2007 (on the lower Columbia River, RM 29-84) did ???PBDE concentrations in osprey eggs exceed 1,000 ng/g ww with negative relationships indicated at both locations between productivity and ???PBDE concentrations in eggs (P = 0.008, P = 0.057). Osprey eggs from Everett, WA contained nearly twice the ???PBDE concentration (geometric mean 239 vs. 141 ng/g ww, range 124-384 vs. 22.2-819 ng/g ww, P ??? 0.05) as double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs collected at the same location and time, which is likely due to dietary differences. No significant relationship (all Ps > 0.147) was indicated between PBDE congeners (including ???PBDEs) and eggshell thickness at the concentrations observed in this study. ?? 2009 US Government.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in eggs may reduce reproductive success of ospreys in Oregon and Washington, USA
Series title Ecotoxicology
DOI 10.1007/s10646-009-0323-4
Volume 18
Issue 7
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 12 p.
First page 802
Last page 813