Determination of PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs in California peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and their eggs



Levels of organochlorine compounds; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), including non-ortho congeners; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs); and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were determined in seven California peregrine falcon eggs (Falco peregrinus) collected from five sites between the years 1983 to 1988; one immature falcon was analyzed for PCDDs and PCDFs only. All of the identified PCDDs and PCDFs were 2,3,7,8-substituted. The major PCDD and PCDF congeners identified in the eggs were 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (1,2,3,7,8-PnCDD) at a geometric mean (mean) value of 11 ng/kg, 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD) at a mean value of 11 ng/kg, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) at a mean value of 6.2 ng/kg, and 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (2,3,4,7,8-PnCDF) at a level of 6.5 ng/kg. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was present at a mean value of 5.7 ng/kg. Values of p,p′-DDE in the eggs ranged from 7,100 to 26,000 μg/kg, with a mean value of 12,000 μg/kg. ΣEPCB levels ranged from 1,400 to 13,000 μg/kg, with a mean value of 4,800 μg/kg. The mean values of the non-ortho congeners 3,4,4′-trichlorobiphenyl (PCB 37); 3,3′,4,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB 77); 3,3′4,4′5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 126); and 3,3′4,4′,5,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 169) were 0.18, 0.93, 1.0, and 0.14 μg/kg, respectively. TCDD equivalents (TEQs) were calculated for the mean values of PCDDs, PCDFs, and non-ortho-PCBs in the eggs. Total TEQs in the eggs was 120 ng/kg; PCB 126 accounted for 83% of the TEQs.