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Accumulation and potential health effects of organohalogenated compounds in the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus)—a review

The Science of The Total Environment
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.050
  • Arctic Fox
  • Endocrine Disruption
  • Organochlorines
  • Pcb
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Vulpes Lagopus
  • Biology


Abstract This review addresses biological effects of anthropogenic organohalogenated compounds in the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). When considering the current levels, spatial and tissue distributions of selected organic pollutants in arctic fox subpopulations, especially the Svalbard based populations accumulate high levels. The dominating contaminant groups are the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chlordanes (CHLs), which reach high levels in adipose tissues, adrenals and liver. Recent controlled exposure studies on domesticated arctic fox and Greenland sledge dogs, show adverse health effects associated with OC concentrations lower than those measured in free-ranging populations. This indicates that especially populations at Svalbard may be at risk of experiencing OC related effects. The arctic fox as such may be an overlooked species in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programs and it would add further information about pollution in the Arctic to include this species in the monitoring program.

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