Marine Pollution Bulletin (2005)

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.02.041


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine compounds (OCs) were determined in the blubber, liver and kidney of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) stranded in Hong Kong coastal waters during 1995–2001. Among the organohalogen compounds analyzed, DDTs were the most dominant contaminants with concentrations ranging from 9.9 to 470 μg/g lipid wt. PBDEs in Hong Kong cetaceans, which are reported for the first time, were detected in all the samples with values ranging from 0.23 to 6.0 μg/g lipid wt., with a predominance of BDE-47. Results from this study suggest PBDEs should be classified as priority pollutants in Asia. Higher concentrations were found in humpback dolphins than in finless porpoises, and this was attributed mainly to differences in habitat. Elevated residues of PCBs and DDTs in some cetaceans suggest these species may be at risk.