Distribution patterns suggest biomagnification of halogenated 1'-methyl-1,2'-bipyrroles (MBPs). Academic Article uri icon


  • The halogenated 1'-methyl-1,2'-bipyrroles (MBPs) are a suite of marine natural products that have been detected in marine mammals worldwide. Although their concentrations are similar to persistent organic pollutants that biomagnify, such as 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153), it is notyet clearthat these natural products also biomagnify. Here we analyze MBPs and CB-153 isolated from the blubber and liver of marine mammals stranded on the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Four odontocete species (Delphinus delphis, Lagenorhynchus acutus, Phocoena phocoena, and Globicephala melas) and two pinniped species (Halichoerus grypus and Phoca groenlandica) were sampled. MBPs were present in all odontocetes, but not detected in pinnipeds; CB-153 was detected in every species. MBP patterns indicative of biomagnification were found, including age-dependent concentration increases and reduced concentrations in adult females. Also explored were the similarities and differences with CB-153, the effects of nutritional state on contaminant distribution, and the maternal transfer of blubber-based organic contaminants.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009