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Letters to Nature
Nature 216, 589 - 591 (11 November 1967); doi:10.1038/216589a0

DDT Residues in Pacific Sea Birds: a Persistent Insecticide in Marine Food Chains

ROBERT W. RISEBROUGH, DANIEL B. MENZEL*, D. JAMES MARTIN JUN. & HAROLD S. OLCOTT

Institute of Marine Resources, University of California, Berkeley.
*Present address: Battelle Memorial Institute, Richland, Washington.
Present address: University of California, Davis, California.

THE accumulation and biological concentration of DDT and its metabolites* within food chains of terrestrial1, freshwater2 and estuarine3 ecosystems have been well documented. Significant residue concentrations have occasionally been reported in marine organisms, but these have usually been attributed to local sources of contamination4. The present study, which is based on analyses of collections of birds, fish and invertebrates from Pacific Ocean localities, indicates that DDT is also a component of marine ecosystems and that pelagic species may accumulate high concentrations of DDT residues. The results of the work with fish will be published elsewhere5.

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