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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Influence of age, season, body condition and geographical area on concentrations of chlorinated and brominated contaminants in wild mink (Neovison vison) in Sweden

Persson, Sara; Rotander, Anna; van Bavel, Bert; Brunström, Björn; Bäcklin, Britt-Marie; Magnusson, Ulf


The wild mink has gained acceptance as a sentinel species in environmental monitoring. However, only limited data are available in the literature on factors driving variability in concentrations of organic pollutants in this species. This study characterizes the differences in contaminant concentrations in subcutaneous fat of male mink from four different areas in Sweden and demonstrates how age, season and body condition influence concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners (including methoxylated forms, MeO-PBDEs), as well as the pesticides dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), chlordane and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). The data were statistically treated using multiple regression and principal component analysis. The Sigma PCB concentration and concentrations of PCB congeners 138, 156, 157, 180,170/190, 189, 194, 206, 209 as well as PBDE 153/154 varied with age. Season had an influence on Sigma PCB, PBDE 47 and PBDE 153/154 concentrations, as well as concentrations of most PCB congeners, with the exception of PCB 101, 110, 141 and 182/187. Lean mink had higher concentrations of most PCBs and PBDEs than mink with larger fat depots. The analyzed pesticides (DDE, oxychlordane, HCB) showed no systematic variation with season, age or body condition. The concentrations of MeO-PBDEs were generally low and 6Me-PBDEO 47 was the most commonly detected MeO-PBDE in mink from marine, brackish and freshwater areas. The results indicate that age, season and body condition are factors that may influence the concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs, and it is thus recommended to take these factors into account when analyzing mink exposure data. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Mink; PCB; Brominated flame retardants (PBDE); Methoxylated PBDE; Age-dependent accumulation; Seasonal variation

Published in

2013, Volume: 90, number: 5, pages: 1664-1671 Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD