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Lipophilic contaminants in marine mammals: review of the results of ten years' work at the Department of Environmental Biology, Siena University (Italy)

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Organochlorine contaminants (HCB, DDTs and PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were valuated in three Mediterranean cetaceans: the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), and in three Argentinean pinnipeds: the southern sea lion (Otaria flavescens), the South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) and the subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis). Two kinds of sample were obtained from the different species of cetaceans and pinnipeds in order to evaluate the toxicological risk to which a species or population is exposed those from stranded specimens and those from free-ranging specimens. In this paper, the use of a non-destructive approach, biopsy sampling, for freeranging marine mammals is recommended.

Keywords: DDTs, dolphins, HCB, marine mammals, pinnipeds, PAHs, PCBs, whales, biopsy sampling

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