National Pesticide Monitoring Program: Residues of organochlorine chemicals in freshwater fish, 1980–81

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
By: , and 



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service analyzed residues of organochlorine chemicals in 315 composite samples of whole fish collected in 1980–81 from 107 stations nationwide as part of the National Pesticide Monitoring Program (NPMP). The mean concentrations of total DDT and allp,p′-ho-mologs exceptp,p′-DDT showed significant but small declines relative to mean concentrations before 1978–79. The mean concentration ofp,p′-DDT did not change. The most persistent DDT homolog (p,p′-DDE) continued to constitute about 70% of total DDT residues, as it did in 1974–79. DDT contamination attributable to former DDT manufacturing facilities remained evident at sites in Alabama and Arkansas, and high concentrations at one site in Hawaii suggested that input to the environment was continuing. Conversely, the data do not support the contention of others that DDT was still being used in the Southwest. Residues of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) remained widespread, but a significant downward trend in total PCBs was evident, especially in areas that the NPMP has previously shown to be the most heavily contaminated. Mean concentrations of dieldrin had not changed since 1978–79, and levels remained highest in Hawaii and in the Great Lakes. Toxaphene concentrations plateaued after a period of steady increase through the 1970's, but the incidence of toxaphene continued to increase; residues were present at 88% of the stations sampled in 1980–81, including one in Alaska (most likely as a consequence of atmospheric transport). Mean chlordane concentrations were slightly lower than in 1978–79, and residues were detected at fewer stations in 1980–81 than in 1978–79. Residues of other organochlorines [e.g., mirex, pentachloroanisole (PCA), benzene hexachloride (BHC) isomers, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Dacthal® (DCPA)2, and methoxychlor] were either found at relatively few (<25%) of the stations sampled in 1980–81 or were characterized by relatively low concentrations.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title National Pesticide Monitoring Program: Residues of organochlorine chemicals in freshwater fish, 1980–81
Series title Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
DOI 10.1007/BF01055615
Volume 14
Issue 2
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 36 p.
First page 225
Last page 260
Country United States
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