Temporal trends in the levels of polychlorinated dioxins, -furans, -biphenyls and polybrominated diethyl ethers in bank voles in Northern Finland

Dioxin-like chemicals and brominated flame retardants are ubiquitous in the environment, despite the introduction of international prohibitions and restrictions. These chemicals do not remain in the vicinity of their source, instead they can be transported over long distances, in fact even to pristine areas in the northern latitudes. However, there have been rather few time series experiments monitoring the trends in the levels of chlorinated and brominated forms of these chemicals in the environment. In this study, the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans (PCDDs/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diethyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in the liver and muscle of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) caught in a remote area in Finnish Lapland during 1986-2007. Five time points were selected: years 1986, 1992, 1998, 2003 and 2007. The levels of PCDDs/Fs and PCBs declined from 1986 until 2003 in both females and males, but tended to increase again in 2007. The peak levels of the most abundant PBDE congeners (PBDEs 47, 99, 100 and 153) were measured in 1998 and 2003. The authors concluded that these findings revealed that the levels of dioxin-like chemicals remain high also in rural areas in Lapland, whereas the concentrations of brominated flame retardants decreased and follow the current restriction prohibitions.

Authors: Murtomaa-Hautala M, Viluksela M, Ruokojärvi P, Rautio A. ;Full Source: Science of the Total Environment. 2015 Apr 25;526:70-76. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.067. [Epub ahead of print] ;