Environmental health and toxicology

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in different tissues of the cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) from Dongting Lake, China

Lirong Gao , Minghui Zheng , Bing Zhang , Wenbin Liu , Ke Xiao , Guijin Su , Qinghua Zhang


Received December 04, 2010,Revised February 14, 2011, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1709-1713

Tissue distribution provides important information regarding the pharmacokinetic behavior of pollutants and is invaluable when analyzing the risk posed to avian species by the exposure to such kind of pollutants. In this study, concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were determined in muscle, liver, spleen, kidney, stomach, gall bladder, skin, heart, pancreas, intestine and lung tissue extracts of cormorants collected from Dongting Lake, China. Tissue distribution results showed preferential accumulation of PCDD/Fs in both liver and skin. The total concentration of PCDD/Fs ranged from 421 to 5696 pg/g lipid weight. Octachlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) was the predominant congener in all tissues and contributed between 31% and 82% to all 17 PCDD/Fs in different tissues. The liver/muscle ratios progressively increased with the degree of chlorination of PCDDs, except for OCDD. The relative toxic potential of PCDDs and PCDFs in tissues were calculated using the World Health Organization (WHO) Toxic Equivalency Factors (TEFs) for birds. The concentrations of WHO-toxic equivalent in different tissues ranged between 14.8 and 2021 pg/g lipid weight. These results indicated PCDD/Fs may have been bio-accumulated in cormorant via food-web. Furthermore, when compared with studies reported in the literatures, the PCDD/Fs levels in the cormorant collected from Dongting Lake were still relatively high.

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