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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Anthropogenic and naturally produced brominated substances in Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) from two sites in the Baltic Sea

Dahlberg, Anna-Karin; Bignert, Anders; Legradi, Jessica; Legler, Juliette; Asplund, Lillemor


In the eutrophicated Baltic Sea, several naturally produced hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs) have been found in marine biota. OH-PBDEs are toxic to adult and developing zebrafish and shown to be potent disruptors of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Disturbed OXPHOS can result in altered energy metabolism and weight loss. In herring, the concentration of OH-PBDEs (i.e. 2'-OH-BDE68 and 6-OH-BDE47) has increased during the period 1980-2010 in the Baltic Proper. Over the same time period, the condition and fat content in Baltic herring have decreased. Given the toxicity and increasing trends of OH-PBDEs in Baltic herring it is important to further assess the exposure to OH-PBDEs in Baltic herring. In this study, the concentrations of OH-PBDEs and related brominated substances i.e. polybrominated phenols (PBPs), polybrominated anisoles (PBAs), methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in herring sampled in the northern Baltic Proper (Asko, n = 12) and the southern Bothnian Sea (Angskarsklubb, n = 12). The geometric mean (GM) concentrations (ng/g l.w.) at Asko and Angskarsklubb were; Sigma(2)PBPs: 4.3 and 9.6, Sigma 2PBAs: 34 and 20, Sigma 6OH-PBDEs: 9.4 and 10, Sigma 7MeO-PBDEs: 42 and 150, Sigma 6PBDEs: 54 and 27, respectively. 6-OH-BDE47 dominated the OH-PBDE profile and comprised 87% (Asko) and 91% (Angskarsklubb) of the Sigma OH-PBDEs. At Angskarsklubb the mean concentration of Sigma MeO-PBDEs (150 ng/g l.w.) was 15 times higher than Sigma OH-PBDEs. As other fish species are known to metabolically transform MeO-PBDEs to OH-PBDEs, high levels of MeO-PBDEs can be of concern as a precursor for more toxic OH-PBDEs in herring and their roe. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ether; Methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ether; Polybrominated diphenyl ether; Baltic herring; Baltic Sea

Published in

2016, Volume: 144, pages: 2408-2414

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Analytical Chemistry
    Other Chemistry Topics

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