PBDE through the entire North Sea food web

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Content of the study

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are an important type of flame retardant. They have been used widely in cars, furniture, textiles, etc.. PBDEs are very hydrophobic (meaning they rather dissolve in lipids than in water), resistant to degradation and potentially toxic.

Context of the study

This study analyzes PBDE concentrations in animals of different trophic levels, namely, the invertebrate species: sea star, common whelk and hermit crab, the fish species: withing and cod, the marine mammals: harbour porpoise and harbour seal. All animals were sampled from the North Sea. The marine mammal samples resulted from by-catch from fisheries, or from strandings.

Main results of the study