PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS IN THE LIVERS OF MOOSE HARVESTED IN THE SOUTHERN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA

Nicholas C. Larter, Derek Muir, Xiaowa Wang, Danny G. Allaire, Allicia Kelly, Karl Cox

Abstract


Moose (Alces alces) are an important traditional and spiritual resource for residents of the southern Northwest Territories and local residents are concerned about contaminants that may be present in the country foods they consume. As part of a larger program looking at contaminants in moose organs, we collected liver samples from moose harvested in two separate but adjoining regions within the Mackenzie River drainage area, the Dehcho and South Slave. We analyzed liver samples for a wide range of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT related compounds, toxaphene, brominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs). Overall concentrations of major groups of POPs (total (Σ) PCBs, ΣPBDEs, ΣPFASs were consistently low (generally < 2 ng/g wet weight) in all samples and comparable to the limited data available from moose in Scandinavia. PFASs were the most prominent group with geometric means (range) of 1.3 (0.81–2.5) ng/g ww in the Dehcho and 0.93 (0.63–1.2) ng/g ww in the South Slave region. Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) was the most prominent PBDE congener, similar to that found in other arctic/subarctic terrestrial herbivores. In general, BDE-209 and PFASs, which are particle-borne and relatively non-volatile, were the predominant organic contaminants.


Keywords


Persistent Organic Pollutants; POPs; PCBs; PFOS; PBDE; Liver

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