Atmospheric and River Input of PCBs, DDTs and HCHs to the Baltic Sea

  • C. Agrell
  • P. Larsson
  • L. Okla
  • G. Bremle
  • N. Johansson
  • M. Klavins
  • O. Roots
  • A. Zelechowska
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 148)


The Baltic Sea is vulnerable to pollution due to its semi-enclosed character and hydrography. The long residence time of water has led to the accumulation of nutrients as well as of persistent pollutants. At present, the levels of PCBs, HCHs and DDTs are high in the Baltic ecosystem. All three substance groups are persistent, bioaccumulative and cause reproductive disturbances. The effects of PCBs and DDTs include reproduction disturbances in white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla; Helander et al. 1982) and gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Zakharov and Yablokov 1990).The levels of persistent pollutants in the Baltic biota are comparable with those found in the Great Lakes of North America, e.g. the levels of PCB in pelagic predators like lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in the Great Lakes are about 2–3 mg/kg (fresh weight; Borgmann and Whittle 1991) compared with 0.5–1 mg/kg for salmon (Salmo salar) in the Baltic Sea (Larsson et al. 1996). Recently, an increased risk of low birth weights in infants, especially boys, has been associated with a high consumption of contaminated fish from the Baltic Sea by their mothers (Rylander et al. 1995). Also, breast cancer incidents were higher than expected in women from the Baltic coast. These women consumed locally caught fatty fish at least twice as often as the control group (Rylander and Hagmar 1995).


Lake Trout River Input Gray Seal Persistent Pollutant Salvelinus Namaycush 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Agrell
  • P. Larsson
  • L. Okla
  • G. Bremle
  • N. Johansson
  • M. Klavins
  • O. Roots
  • A. Zelechowska

There are no affiliations available

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