A Review of Organochlorine Contaminants in Nearshore Marine Mammal Predators
Amy Green* and Shawn Larson
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Amy Green
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 18, 2016; Accepted May 02, 2016; Published May 10, 2016
Citation: Green A, Larson S (2016) A Review of Organochlorine Contaminants in Nearshore Marine Mammal Predators. J Environ Anal Toxicol 6:370.doi:10.4172/2161-0525.1000370
Copyright: © 2016 Green A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Nearshore vertebrate predators such as marine mammals and otters are apex predators, and as such, act both as drivers of the ecosystems in which they live and as sentinels of environmental health. As apex predators, these wild animals at the top of the food chain often bioaccumalate persistent organic pollutants (termed POPs) widespread throughout the environment. Organochlorines are a type of POP that tends to be lipophilic and hydrophobic which accumulate in the fatty tissues of marine mammals and other vertebrate predators over time. There has been growing concern about these POPs in the marine environment and within wildlife, as they can potentially cause health problems. Since the 1950s there have been 81,000 papers published on organochlorines in nearshore predators and potential negative effects to the environment, wildlife and humans. Here, we review organochlorines reported in the tissues of marine mammals and other nearshore vertebrate predators since 1995. We focus on five organochlorines that have been studied the most within nearshore vertebrate predators: 2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), toxaphene, and polychlorinated naphthalnese (PCNs).