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River otters as biomonitors for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and PBDEs in Illinois

1 Introduction</h5> Organohalogenated compounds (OHCs) are of global concern due to their environmental persistence, bioaccumulative potential, and adverse effects on humans and wildlife ( Bernanke and Kohler, 2008; Mnif et al., 2011 ). OHCs include three industrial chemical groups, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), as well as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). OCPs are further divided into five groups: dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its analogs, isomers of benzene hexachloride (BHC), cyclodiene insecticides (including heptachlor, chlordane, and aldrin), caged structures (e.g. mirex and chlordecone) and toxaphene ( Smith, 1991 ).</P>Cyclodiene insecticides were applied in Illinois cornfields from 1953 until their use was banned in 1978. Peak use occurred in 1967 when approximately 5.6 out of 10 million acres of corn soil in Illinois were treated. Of the OCPs applied to Illinois soil, aldrin was applied extensively; an estimated 44.9 million acres of corn soil were treated between 1956 and 1977 ( Steffey et al., 1984 ). The main epoxide of aldrin is dieldrin ( Koerner et al., 1999 ). Havera and Duzan (1986) reported dieldrin to be the contaminant posing the greatest threat to the health of birds of prey in Illinois between 1966 and 1981. The authors found that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Elsevier
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