Letter | Published:

Identification of chlorinated dibenzofurans in American polychlorinated biphenyls

Naturevolume 256pages305307 (1975) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

MORTALITY of embryos has contributed to the reproductive failures of several bird species, including the sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus) of southern Scotland1, the white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) of Schleswig Holstein2, and the herring gulls (Larus argentatus) of Lake Ontario3. Suspected causes include p,p′-DDE (2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene), other chlorinated biocides and/or their derivatives, and the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), all of which are present as contaminants in the eggs1–3. PCBs are present in high concentrations in the bird populations which suffer embryonic mortality1–3. Other organochlorine compounds which may be present in food webs include the chlorinated dibenzodioxins and the chlorinated dibenzofurans (Fig. 1), which are toxic to embryos in amounts4–7 less than 1 µg. They are therefore among the most toxic substances known and are possible causes of the observed mortality.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Newton, I., and Bogan, J., Nature, 249, 582–583 (1974).

  2. 2

    Koeman, J. H., Hadderingh, R. H., and Bijleveld, M. F. I. J., Biol. Conserv., 4, 373–377 (1972).

  3. 3

    Gilbertson, M., and Hale, R., Can. Fld Nat., 88, 354–356 (1974).

  4. 4

    Higginbotham, G. R., et al., Nature, 220, 702–703 (1968).

  5. 5

    Sparschu, G. L., Dunn, F. L., and Rowe, V. K., Food Cosmet. Toxic., 9, 405–412 (1971).

  6. 6

    Vos, J. G., Koeman, J. H., Van der Maas, H. L., ten Noever de Brauw, M. C., and de Vos, R. H., Food Cosmet. Toxic., 8, 625–633 (1970).

  7. 7

    Vos, J. G., Environ. Hlth Persp., 1, 105–117 (1972).

  8. 8

    Bowes, G. W., Simoneit, B. R., Burlingame, A. L., de Lappe, B. W., and Rise-brough, R. W., Environ. Hlth Persp., 5, 191–198 (1973).

  9. 9

    Baughman, R., and Meselson, M., Environ. Hlth Persp., 5, 27–35 (1973).

  10. 10

    Baughman, R., Meselson, M., Adv. Chem., 120, 92–104 (1973).

  11. 11

    Report on 2,4,5-T (Executive Office of the President, Science Advisory Committee, Office of Science and Technology, March, 1971).

  12. 12

    Jensen, S., and Renberg, L., Ambio, 1, 62–65 (1972).

  13. 13

    Firestone, D., Ress, J., Brown, N. L., Barron, R. P., and Damico, J. N., J. Ass. Off. Analyt. Chem., 55, 85–92 (1972).

  14. 14

    Porter, M. L., and Burke, J. A., J. Ass. Off. Analyt. Chem., 54, 1426–1428 (1971).

  15. 15

    Burlingame, A. L., Olsen, R. W., and McPherron, R. V., Adv. Mass Spectr., 6, 1053–1059 (1974).

  16. 16

    Nisbet, I. C. T., and Sarofim, A. F., Environ. Hlth Persp., 1, 21–38 (1972).

  17. 17

    Bowes, G. W., and Jonkel, C. J., J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. (in the press).

  18. 18

    Jensen, S., Johnels, A. G., Olsson, M., and Otterlind, G., Nature, 224, 247–250 (1969).

  19. 19

    Koeman, J. H., ten Noever de Brauw, M. C., and de Vos, R. H., Nature, 221, 1126–1128 (1969).

  20. 20

    Risebrough, R. W., Reiche, P., Peakall, D. B., Herman, S. G., and Kirven, M. N., Nature, 220, 1098–1102 (1968).

Download references

Author information

Author notes

    • GERALD W. BOWES

    Present address: Division of Planning and Research, California Water Resources Control Board, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California, 95814

Affiliations

  1. Canadian Wildlife Service, Toxic Chemicals Section, Ottawa, Canada, K1A OH3

    • GERALD W. BOWES
    •  & MICHAEL J. MULVIHILL
  2. Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94720

    • BERND R. T. SIMONEIT
    •  & A. L. BURLINGAME
  3. Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California, Bodega Bay, California, 94923

    • R. W. RISEBROUGH

Authors

  1. Search for GERALD W. BOWES in:

  2. Search for MICHAEL J. MULVIHILL in:

  3. Search for BERND R. T. SIMONEIT in:

  4. Search for A. L. BURLINGAME in:

  5. Search for R. W. RISEBROUGH in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/256305b0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.