Occurrence of triclosan in plasma of wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and in their environment

Environ Pollut. 2009 Aug-Sep;157(8-9):2248-54. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.04.002. Epub 2009 May 1.


The presence of triclosan, a widely-used antibacterial chemical, is currently unknown in higher trophic-level species such as marine mammals. Blood plasma collected from wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Charleston, SC (CHS) (n = 13) and Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) (n = 13) in 2005 was analyzed for triclosan. Plasma concentrations in CHS dolphins ranged from 0.12 to 0.27 ng/g wet weight (mean 0.18 ng/g), with 31% of the sampled individuals having detectable triclosan. The mean IRL dolphin plasma concentrations were 0.072 ng/g wet weight (range 0.025-0.11 ng/g); 23% of the samples having detectable triclosan. In the CHS area, triclosan effluent values from two WWTP were both 190 ng/L and primary influents were 2800 ng/L and 3400 ng/L. Triclosan values in CHS estuarine surface water samples averaged 7.5 ng/L (n = 18) ranging from 4.9 to 14 ng/L. This is the first study to report bioaccumulation of anthropogenic triclosan in a marine mammal highlighting the need for further monitoring and assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / analysis
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / blood
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Bottle-Nosed Dolphin / blood*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Male
  • South Carolina
  • Triclosan / analysis
  • Triclosan / blood*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / blood*
  • Wetlands


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Triclosan