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Keywords:

  • Organohalogens;
  • Toxicokinetics;
  • Bioaccumulation model;
  • Biotransformation;
  • Depuration rates

Abstract

—This study examined the bioaccumulation and dietary retention of 61 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and four polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners in juvenile American kestrels (Falco sparverius). American kestrels were exposed to contaminants via egg injection and daily gavage dosing over the posthatch-to-fledgling period. Retention factors for PCBs were dependent on chemical hydrophobicity and chlorine substitution patterns and ranged from less than 1 to 16.4% for PCBs having vicinal hydrogen substitutions at meta-, para- carbons on at least one of the phenyl rings and between 13.2 and 81.5% for congeners containing chlorine substitutions at 4,4′-, 3′,4,5′-, 3,4′,5-, or 3,3′,5,5′- positions. These results indicate that juveniles are capable of biotransforming PCBs according to the same structure-activity rules as adults. A toxicokinetic model, initially parameterized using adult toxicokinetic parameters, was used to describe concentration trends in juveniles overtime. The adult model overestimated PCB concentrations but provided an adequate fit when elimination rate constants were increased by a factor of 12.7. Retention factors for the PBDE congeners 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 47), 2,2′,4,4′,6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 100), 2,2′,4,4′,5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 99), and 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 153) were from 7.8 to 45.3% of the total dose. The retention of BDE 47 was similar that observed for readily cleared PCBs, whereas the remaining PBDEs exhibited retention factors consistent with those of persistent PCBs. Half-lives for PBDEs in juveniles were estimated to range from 5.6 to 44.7 d. Assuming differences in PBDE toxicokinetics between juveniles and adults similar to those measured for PCBs, adult American kestrel PBDE half-lives are expected to range from 72 to 572 d.