• Organochlorines;
  • Metabolites;
  • Glaucous gull;
  • Arctic


The present study investigated new or lesser-studied and legacy organochlorine (OC) contaminants and metabolites in plasma and eggs of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) collected from major breeding colonies on Bear Island in the Norwegian Arctic. Hexachlorobutadiene was below the method limit of detection (<0.07 ng/g lipid wt) in all samples. The sum (sum) of 20 chlorobornane congener concentrations ranged between 294 and 986 ng/g lipid weight and 104 and 1,121 ng/g lipid weight in plasma and eggs, respectively, whereas those of ∑20polychlorinated naphthalene ranged between 1.34 and 126 ng/g lipid weight in plasma and 1.82 and 162 ng/g lipid weight in eggs. Bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulfone concentrations ranged between 5.24 and 143 ng/g lipid weight plasma, which is the first report of this contaminant in arctic biota north of Sweden. Based on 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQs), partial dioxin-like toxicity varied between 3.04 and 20.8 ng TEQ/g lipid weight in plasma and 0.94 and 46.5 ng TEQ/g lipid weight in eggs, and largely was due to concentrations of non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), with a very minor contribution from mono-ortho PCBs and polychlorinated naphthalenes. The major aryl sulfone metabolite in plasma was an unidentified hexachlorinated MeSO2-PCB congener (range: 13.5–551 ng/g lipid wt), whereas the pentachlorinated congeners 3′- and 4′-MeSO2-CB101 (range: 4.49–38.1 ng/g lipid wt) dominated in eggs. The predominant halogenated phenolic compound (HPC) in plasma was consistently the PCB metabolite 4-OH-CB187 (range: 0.29–17.5 ng/g wet wt), whereas in eggs, detectable HPCs were at very low and transient concentrations. As part of a complex profile of contaminant exposure, these chemical classes and metabolites may be contributing factors to enhance physiological stress in breeding glaucous gulls.