Marine Environmental Research (2016)

DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.11.004


This study investigated the accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and their hydroxylated and methoxylated analogues (OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs) in the blood of harbor porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, and finless porpoises stranded or bycaught in Japanese coastal waters and in the North Pacific Ocean. Moreover, we suggested the origins of these contaminants and the factors affecting their pattern of accumulation. Levels of PBDEs in Dall’s porpoises were one order of magnitude greater than those in the other species. OH-PBDE and MeO-PBDE levels were comparable to those of PBDEs. However, no correlation was found between the levels of OH-PBDEs and PBDEs, whereas a strong correlation was found between that of OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs (p < 0.001). 6OH-BDE47, reported compound biosynthesized by marine low-trophic level organisms, was the dominant congener. These results suggest that PBDEs found in these porpoise species derive from flame retardants, but OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs are mainly of natural origins.