Chiral organochlorine contaminants in blood and eggs of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from the Norwegian Arctic

Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Oct 1;42(19):7181-6. doi: 10.1021/es8000147.


Glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) and their eggs from Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic) have been used as biomonitors of contaminants in the marine environment. In this study, the enantiomer fractions (EFs) of chiral chlordanes and atropisomeric polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners were determined in the blood plasma of adult male and female glaucous gulls from three breeding colonies in Svalbard. Plasma EFs were similar in magnitude and direction to EFs previously reported in glaucous gulls from other arctic food webs, suggesting overall similarities in the biochemical processes influencing the EFs of bioaccumulated organochlorine (OC) contaminants within the food webs at those locations. Additionally, EFs in yolk of eggs collected concurrently from within the same nesting colonies varied with location, laying date, and OC concentrations, and may be influenced by changes in the local feeding ecology between those colonies. No differences were found between the EFs for any analyte in female gulls compared to those found in egg yolk, indicating that processes involved in the maternal transfer of chlordanes and PCBs to eggs do not modulate the stereochemical ratio between enantiomers. Therefore, the use of eggs as a valuable and noninvasive means of OC biomonitoring may also extend to enantiomer compositions in glaucous gulls, and perhaps also in other seabird species from arctic regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arctic Regions
  • Charadriiformes / blood*
  • Chlordan / blood
  • Egg Yolk / chemistry
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Environmental Pollutants / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / blood*
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure
  • Norway
  • Oviposition
  • Ovum / chemistry*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Chlordan