Bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulfone and PCB methyl sulfone metabolites : Trends and chirality in the Baltic Sea environment

by Norström, Karin

Abstract (Summary)
The Baltic Sea was earlier identified as a highly polluted brackish water body and still is. The high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), p,p’-DDT and related compounds led to severe effects on several species in the Baltic region. However, the situation has improved significantly since the 1970’s resulting in lower exposures to a range of pollutants and healthier wildlife populations. Independent of this positive trend there are still new chemicals leaking into the Baltic Sea environment. The objective of this thesis is to improve the knowledge of sulfone containing compounds and pollutant metabolites in wildlife, with special interest in bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulfone (BCPS) distribution, temporal trend and exposure levels, and the methylsulfonyl-PCBs (MeSO2-PCBs). The latter are of particular interest for chiral MeSO2-PCBs. BCPS is used for the production of high temperature polymers and was detected as an environmental contaminant ten years ago. PCBs, p,p’-DDT and related compounds are still of scientific interest.BCPS is biomagnified and especially in the bird guillemot which has levels of up to 2000 ng BCPS/g fat compared to the grey seal with concentrations of about 60 ng/g fat. The seal levels are similar to the herring, the prey of the bird and seal, with concentrations of 30 ng BCPS/g fat. The guillemot concentration of BCPS has been similar over the last 30 years with a minimal, but significant, annual decline of 1.6%. The reason for the slow decline is not yet understood. Also MeSO2-PCBs and 3-MeSO2-DDE show a small decrease over time in guillemot egg (3 and 9%, respectively), which is less then for the parent compounds. This shows that the sulfone metabolites are more persistent than their precursors in the guillemot. Furthermore, all these sulfone containing compounds showed a specific retention to liver comparing different tissues in grey seal. The atropisomers of the chiral MeSO2-PCB were analysed in both the guillemot and the grey seal and showed to occur in a skewed relationship. This is particularly pronounced in seals where one atropisomer of each chiral congener is very dominating. The dominating atropisomers have been identified with an absolute R configuration, in both grey seal and guillemot. An enantioselective metabolism was indicated to occur when experimentally tested by CB-132 in rat.This thesis is stressing the high specificity in wildlife for one atropisomer in the pair of chiral PCB methyl sulfones being PCB metabolites, and the high BCPS concentrations in guillemot hatching in the Baltic proper.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Chemistry; Environmental chemistry; bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulfone; PCB methyl sulfone; Baltic Sea


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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