Persistent organic pollutants in liver. ΣHCH – sum of 3 individual hexachlorocyclohexanes

Pollution: Contaminants in seabirds
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Lindane and the other HCH isomers are members of the organochlorine family of chemicals. For decades, lindane, the gamma isomer, has been widely used as an insecticide.

It is the only isomer in the group with pesticidal properties. A variety of toxicological effects, such as reproductive and neurotoxic impairments, have been recorded for lindane and other isomers of HCH in test animals. Alpha and beta HCH is classified as a probable human carcinogen. According to the contaminant data presented there is a significant decrease of HCH from 1992 to 2003. Since analyses were based on aggregated data without error values, the results need to be interpreted with caution.

However, since several other published papers support a general decrease in legacy persistent organic pollution, we also conclude here that there is a general downward trend of HCH. This trend is significant for all the seabird species as well as for the Brünnich's guillemot and kittiwake. The glaucous gull had significantly higher liver concentrations of HCH than the other seabird species. There were no regional differences in HCH concentrations.

Levels of ΣHCH in seabird liver 

 SpeciesSpeciesSpecies
  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Brunnichs guillemot. Levels in Black guillemot Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Brünnichs guillemot. Levels in Brünnichs guillemot Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Common eider Levels in Common eider
  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Common guillemot Levels in Common guillemot Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Northern fulmar Levels in Northern fulmar Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Common eider Levels in Great black-backed gull
  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Common eider Levels in Glaucous gull Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Herring gull Levels in Herring gull Levels of liver-ΣHCH in King eider Levels in King eider
  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Black-legged kittiwake Levels in Black-legged kittiwake  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Little auk Levels in Little auk  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Levels of liver-SHCH in Long-tailed duck. Levels in Levels of liver-SHCH in Long-tailed duck.
  Levels of liver-ΣHCH in Atlantic puffin Levels in Atlantic puffin