Environ Sci Technol 2012 Sep 6;46(18):9890-7. Epub 2012 Sep 6.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699, United States.
Lake trout and walleye composites were collected between 2004 and 2009 as part of the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program (GLFMSP) and analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Yearly mean total PBDE concentrations (sum of congeners BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, BDE-153, BDE-154) ranged from 44-192, 28-113, 50-107, 37-111, and 11-22 ng/g wet wt. for Lakes Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Superior lake trout, and Lake Erie walleye, respectively. A 1980-2009 temporal record of PBDE concentrations in the Great Lakes' top predator fish (lake trout and walleye) was assembled by integrating previous GLFMSP data (1980-2003) with current results (2004-2009). Temporal profiles show obvious breakpoints between periods of PBDE accumulation and decline in trout for Lakes Huron, Michigan and Ontario with a significant (p < 0.0001 and r = 0.55, 0.72, and 0.51, respectively) decrease in concentration after 2000-2001. A similar transition was observed in Lake Superior for the nearshore site accompanied by a less significant decreasing trend (p = 0.016, r = 0.33), suggesting concentrations are declining very slowly or have leveled off. In contrast, Lake Erie walleye concentrations began leveling off in the late 1990s and no statistically significant trend (increasing or decreasing) has been observed in recent years. A decrease in the BDE-47/BDE-153 ratio was also recently observed, suggesting a transition to more highly brominated PBDEs is occurring in Great Lakes trout. This study provides region-wide evidence that PBDE concentrations are generally declining in Great Lakes trout, although there are clear exceptions to this trend. Results from this study reflect the positive impact of the 2004 PentaBDE ban on macro-scale aquatic freshwater ecosystems.