Accumulation of plastic-derived chemicals in tissues of seabirds ingesting marine plastics

Mar Pollut Bull. 2013 Apr 15;69(1-2):219-22. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.12.010. Epub 2013 Jan 5.


We analyzed polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in abdominal adipose of oceanic seabirds (short-tailed shearwaters, Puffinus tenuirostris) collected in northern North Pacific Ocean. In 3 of 12 birds, we detected higher-brominated congeners (viz., BDE209 and BDE183), which are not present in the natural prey (pelagic fish) of the birds. The same compounds were present in plastic found in the stomachs of the 3 birds. These data suggested the transfer of plastic-derived chemicals from ingested plastics to the tissues of marine-based organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Birds / metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / metabolism*
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Plastics / metabolism*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*


  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Plastics
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical