Organochlorine contaminants in wild mink from the lower Great Lakes basin, Canada, 1998–2006

Organochlorine contaminants in wild mink from the lower Great Lakes basin, Canada, 1998–2006 Organochlorine contaminants were measured in livers of wild mink (Neovison vison) trapped in the lower Great Lakes basin from 1998 to 2006. To assess exposure and potential risk in mink feeding on Great Lakes biota, concentrations of contaminants were compared in mink trapped within 7.8 km of the shoreline as well as at inland sites (i.e., 8–40 km). Overall, significant spatial variation in mean hepatic concentrations of sum PCBs and seven other organochlorines was found in mink from 13 Great Lakes sites, many of which are within the Great Lakes Areas of Concern. Mean sum PCB concentrations, on a lipid weight basis, ranged from 2 μg/g in mink from inland Lake Ontario sites to 44 μg/g in mink from western Lake Erie. Concentrations of other organochlorines in mink were generally low. Mink from western Lake Erie had the highest mean cumulative organochlorine burdens dominated largely by PCBs. A significant age effect was found with 1-year-old mink having significantly higher PCB burdens than mink less than 1 year in age. With respect to published PCB threshold effect concentrations, some mink exceeded those associated with effects on reproduction and survival as well as the presence of jaw lesions. This was most consistently found in western Lake Erie where the health of populations of wild mink may be adversely affected and where no mink 2 years of age or older were collected. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Springer Journals

Organochlorine contaminants in wild mink from the lower Great Lakes basin, Canada, 1998–2006

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Springer International Publishing
Copyright © 2017 by Springer International Publishing AG
Environment; Monitoring/Environmental Analysis; Environmental Management; Ecotoxicology; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Ecology
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