Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Energetic compounds in the trophic chain : a pilot study examining the exposure risk of Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) to TNT, its metabolites, and by-products

The Baltic and North Seas still contain large amounts of dumped munitions from both World Wars. The exposure of the munition shells to the seawater causes corrosion, which leads to the disintegration of shells and a leakage of energetic compounds, including the highly toxic 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), and consequently threatening the marine environment. To evaluate the risk of accumulation of energetic compounds from conventional munitions in the marine food chain, we analyzed the presence of TNT and its metabolites 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2-ADNT) and 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4-ADNT) as well as their byproducts 1,3-dinitrobenzene (1,3-DNB) and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) in different tissues (including muscle, liver, kidney, brain, and bile) from 25 Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) from the Danish Baltic Sea. Tissues were prepared according to approved protocols, followed by GC-MS/MS analysis. None of the aforementioned energetic compounds were detected in any of the samples. This pilot study is one of the first analyzing the presence of explosive chemicals in tissues from a free-ranging predatory species. This study highlights the need for continuous monitoring at different levels of the trophic chain to increase our knowledge on the distribution and possible accumulation of energetic compounds in the marine environment in order to provide reliable data for decision-making tools and risk assessments


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