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Keywords:

  • Keywords-Brominated diphenyl ethers;
  • Peregrine falcon eggs;
  • Debromination;
  • Brominated diphenyl ether-209

Abstract

High (maximum of 4.1 ppm lipid weight) levels of BDE-209 and other higher brominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs) found in California, USA, peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) eggs (n = 95) provided an opportunity to examine homolog profiles of nona-, octa-, and hepta-BDEs as possible evidence for biological debromination of BDE-209. We found two congeners in eggs, an unidentified hepta-BDE (BDE-heptaUNK) and BDE-202 (octa-BDE) that are not present in commercial mixtures. In addition, BDE-208 (nona-BDE) was present at much higher (10-fold) proportions in eggs than in commercial mixtures. To examine whether these unusual homolog patterns arose from assimilation of environmentally degraded BDE commercial mixtures, we compared nona-hepta-BDE homolog profiles of peregrine falcon eggs with those of weathered BDEs present in various abiotic matrices (sludge, sediment, and dusts). We found the profiles differed significantly: BDE-207 was the major nona-BDE in eggs, whereas BDE-206 was the major nona-BDE in abiotic matrices. Thus, the evidence for the biological debromination of BDE-209 in peregrine falcons is twofold: Eggs have two congeners (BDE-202 and −heptaUNK) that are not reported for any commercial mixtures nor in the abiotic matrices examined thus far, and eggs have higher-brominated BDE homolog patterns that are different from those found in commercial mixtures or environmental matrices.