Temporal Trends of Hexabromocyclododecane, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Ringed Seals from East Greenland

Concentrations of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) were determined in a combination of archived and fresh blubber samples of juvenile ringed seals from East Greenland collected between 1986 and 2008. α-HBCD was the only diastereoisomer consistently above levels of quantification and showed a significant log−linear (exponential) increase from 2.0 to 8.7 ng/g lipid weight (median concentrations) with an annual rate of +6.1%. The concentrations were up to several orders of magnitude lower than those reported for marine mammals from industrialized areas. Previously presented time trends on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been extended with new data for 2006 and 2008. ΣPBDE in juvenile seals was the only parameter with a slight upward trend, however, dependent on the low 1986 concentration. Removing this data point resulted in a downward trend, which also was found for adult seals with a time trend starting in 1994. ΣPCB decreased significantly in juvenile seals, again due to the 1986 value, while no trend was found for the adult animals. This indicates stagnating PCB concentrations at a relatively high level, in some cases possibly exceeding tolerable daily intake rates for seal blubber as traditional Arctic food items.