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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Hazardous substances in marine organisms / Hazardous substances in marine organisms (MAR 001) - Assessment published Mar 2013

Hazardous substances in marine organisms (MAR 001) - Assessment published Mar 2013

Generic metadata

Topics:

Coasts and seas Coasts and seas (Primary topic)

Chemicals Chemicals

Water Water

Tags:
hazardous substances | marine and coastal | sea
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • MAR 001
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1998-2010
Geographic coverage:
Albania Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Cyprus Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Malta Marine Baltic sea Marine North-east Atlantic ocean Mediterranean Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Slovenia Spain Sweden Turkey United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Are the concentrations and trends of hazardous substances in marine organisms acceptable?

Key messages

The concentrations were generally Low or Moderate for HCB and lindane, Moderate for cadmium, mercury and lead, and Moderate or High for PCB and DDT. A general downward trend was found in the Northeast Atlantic for lead, lindane, PCB and DDT and also in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea for lindane. A general upward trend was found in the Mediterranean Sea for mercury and lead.

Aggregated assessment of hazardous substances in biota measured in the North East Atlantic, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea; 1998-2010

Note: The figure consists of seven maps showing the four regional seas, one map for each contaminant. Each map shows the locations where the contaminant was measured, and coloured to indicate which class was registered; green (Low concentration), yellow (Moderate concentration) or red (High concentration). In addition a pie chart is presented on the map showing the percent of each class within each of the four regional seas. Furthermore, any regional trend for a particular class is indicated by an arrow.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

This indicator currently covers the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Data from the Black Sea were insufficient for this assessment. The assessment results show that concentrations are generally Low or Moderate for all seven hazardous substances (Figure 1).

Cadmium, lead and mercury are found at Low concentrations in the earth's crust and occur naturally in seawater. HCB, lindane, PCB and DDT are synthetic substances that are not found naturally in the environment. Human activities have caused a general mobilisation of these hazardous substances in aquatic and terrestrial environments. In the marine environment, they accumulate in fish and shell fish, and because these in return are a food source for marine wildlife and humans the substances are moved to higher levels in the food chain. The contaminants are not needed for any organism (they are not essential) and are toxic. In humans long-term exposure or consumption of contaminated seafoods can be detrimental. The main sources, at least in the North Sea, are from general waste/disposal burning of fossil fuels and industrial activities (NSC, 2002), including mining and production. EEA has recently published a more thorough description of their sources and dangers to the environment (EEA 2011).

It should be noted that this assessment is based on data reported to the EEA by EEA member countries where there are some issues with data availability and quality. The assessment therefore does not necessarily convey the uncertainty these problems cause. It also should be noted that the three-class system applied for assessing the concentration of hazardous substances does not necessarily highlight where there is a risk to human consumption.

The key assessment can be summarized as follows:

The decrease in inputs to the North-East Atlantic since 1990 (EEA 2011) is reflected in the decrease in concentrations for four of the seven contaminants (i.e., lead, lindane, PCB and DDT) in mussels and fish in this region. This indicates that the measures and initiatives to reduce the input of these substances and to protect the marine environment are of some success.

Abatement policies have also been in effect for the Baltic Sea and concentrations have in general decreased for lindane during the period 1998-2010 (Figure 1). This indicated that abatement policies in this region were of some success.

The assessment of the Mediterranean is based on contributions from three countries: Croatia, France and Italy. Policies to reduce pollution have been in effect here and regional time trends for mussels have been more effective for lindane, where a general downward trend was detected compared to mercury and lead where a general upward trend was detected. An improvement in data reporting is needed to give a better basis for estimating long-term trends.

Data for the Black Sea concerned only 7 mussel stations for 2005 and 2007 but for methodological reasons no conclusions could be drawn for this region.

References

  • NSC, 2002. Progress report. Fifth International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea 20-21 March 2002 Bergen, Norway. 209 pp.

Specific policy question: Are the concentrations of the selected hazardous substances in marine organisms acceptable, and if not, are they decreasing?

Specific assessment

CADMIUM
Assessment of sub-indicator:


Summary:
Concentrations of cadmium in recent years were generally classified as Low or Moderate in mussels and fish of the North-East Atlantic, fish in the Baltic Sea, and mussels in the Mediterranean. No general regional trend was detected in any of these regions which indicates that no general change in status is anticipated (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

Cadmium is primarily produced as a by-product from the extraction, smelting and refining of zinc and other non.ferrous metals (EEA, 2011). The main sources, at least to the North Sea, are from general waste/disposal and industrial activities (NSC, 2002). Sources of the metal to the environment include mining and production, metal industry (including steel industry), coating/electroplating industry, production and deposition of nickel-cadmium batteries, burning of fossil fuels, the use of phosphate fertilisers, waste incineration, leaching from waste deposits and, finally, the use of cadmium salts as stabiliser and/or colouring agent.

Cadmium is widely present at Low concentrations in the earth's crust, but human activities have caused a general mobilisation of the metal in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Elevated levels of cadmium can be found in the sediment in estuarine and coastal waters of the Baltic Sea (HELCOM, 2010) and North Sea (OSPAR, 2010). Re-suspension of hazardous substances can occur if sediments are disturbed or displaced by for example dredging (OSPAR 2009). There is also evidence of significant atmospheric transport (OSPAR, 2004).

It is not needed for any organism (it is not essential) and the metal is highly toxic. The metal affects vital biological processes such as ion exchange, energy production and protein synthesis, mainly through interaction with the metabolism of essential trace metals such as zinc and calcium. In marine ecosystems, some seabird species (eating contaminated mussels) have been identified as the possibly most sensitive component through secondary poisoning (OSPAR 1996, 2004). Due to its environmental toxicity and threat to human health, cadmium is classified as a Priority Hazardous Substance under the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (2008/105/EC), which requires that all discharges, emissions and losses cease over time.

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of cadmium for mussels (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) indicated that concentrations were generally Moderate and to a lesser degree Low. Elevated concentrations were often associated with estuaries for large rivers, in areas with point discharges (e.g. Sørfjord, western Norway) and in some harbours, but for as yet unexplained reasons were also found in areas remote from point sources, for example the east coast of Iceland and in the Moray Firth on the east coast of Scotland. The areas from which mussels did not appear to be suitable for human consumption were found in 14 cases, in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and northern United Kingdom (Figure 1).

Of the 277 (of 315 datasets) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (266 for mussels, 11 for fish) only 50 (18.1%) were significant, 29 down and 21 up. Inputs have been decreasing in the North-East Atlantic (cf. EEA 2011). The regional assessment for this region indicated no general statistically significant trend (cf. Figure 1). Concentrations in one area with High concentrations (Sørfjord, Norway) appeared to be decreasing. There also appeared to be generally upward trends of cadmium in mussels from France. 

MERCURY
Assessment of sub-indicator:

Summary:
Concentrations of mercury in recent years were generally classified as low or Moderate in mussels and fish of the north-east Atlantic, fish in the Baltic Sea, and mussels in the Mediterranean. In spite of this there is a general upward trend in the Mediterranean Sea (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

The main anthropogenic sources of mercury are from general waste/disposal and industrial activities (EEA, 2011). It is still used in various products, e.g. batteries and electronics. Furthermore, low quantities in fossil fuels and municipal waste ensure continued emissions of mercury into the atmosphere. Mercury is subject to long-range transboundary transport (EEA, 2011). It has no known biological function. It is highly toxic and is considered one of the most dangerous metals in the aquatic environment due to it's toxicity and potential for bioaccumulation/biomagnification, particularly under anoxic conditions favouring the transformation of inorganic mercury into organic forms. Organic forms of mercury affect the nervous system, whereas the inorganic forms affect a range of cellular processes.

In marine ecosystems, organisms at the top of food chains, mainly seabirds and marine mammals have been identified as being most sensitive (through secondary poisoning) (OSPAR 2004). Mercury, as well as for DDT discussed below, is shown to be a major culprit for the decline in populations of predatory birds in the '60s and '70s, which have since recovered mainly because of restrictions on the discharge of mercury and the banning of DDT. There is a continuous microbial transformation of inorganic to organic mercury in the aquatic environment and mercury in e.g. fish is nearly all organic mercury. Methyl mercury is one of the few environmental contaminants that has been established as embryotoxic to humans.

Elevated levels of mercury can be found in the sediment in estuarine and coastal waters of the Baltic Sea (HELCOM, 2010) and North Sea (OSPAR, 2010). Re-suspension of hazardous substances can occur if sediments are disturbed or displaced by for example dredging (OSPAR 2009). The Polar Regions are affected by long-range transported mercury, and the concentration in some marine mammals seem to have increased over the previous two decades (AMAP, 2011). The Arctic marine food web is often in focus regarding the risk of mercury to ecosystems. It is however important to acknowledge that impacts of mercury are not only restricted to the Polar Regions. Also in warmer waters the predatory marine mammals may be exposed to mercury levels that are health threatening).

Due to its environmental toxicity and threat to human health, mercury is classified as a Priority Hazardous Substance under the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (2008/105/EC), which requires that all discharges, emissions and losses cease over time.

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of mercury for mussels (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) and fish indicated that concentrations were generally Moderate and to a lesser degree Low. High concentrations, i.e. concentrations which are not suitable for human consumption, were found in 4 cases for mussels (two in areas of Italy, one station in Denmark and a station in Croatia) and three cases for fish (Great Britain, Croatia and Denmark).

Of the 369 (of 421 datasets) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (314 for mussels, 55 for fish) only 66 (17.9%) were significant, 32 down and 34 up (Figure 1). Inputs to the North-East Atlantic have remained about 50% below the 1990 average since 1995 (cf. EEA 2011). The regional trend in the Mediterranean was upward (Figure 1). Most downward trends were found in Great Britain and Norway and most of the upward trends were found in Croatia, France and Italy.

LEAD
Assessment of sub-indicator:

Summary:
Concentrations of lead in recent years were generally classified as Low or Moderate in mussels and fish of the North-East Atlantic, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Seas. The fraction of High level stations was largest in the Mediterranean (where only mussels were monitored). A regional downward trend was found for the North-East Atlantic, while a regional upward trend was found for the Mediterranean (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

Lead is widely distributed in the crust of the earth, most commonly found with deposits of other metals like zinc, cadmium, silver and copper. The main anthropogenic sources are from general waste/disposal and industrial activities (NSC, 2002). There is evidence of significant atmospheric transport (OSPAR, 2004). Lead is non-essential and toxic. Lead has high affinity for particles and is rarely found in high concentrations in seawater. Some algae are especially sensitive to lead (OSPAR 1996), but lead may affect aquatic species at different trophic levels. In vertebrates, lead predominantly accumulates in bone and blood. Exposure to high concentrations will cause decreased synthesis of hemoglobin and eventually anemia. Severe exposure to inorganic lead may cause encephalopathy and mental retardation. Exposure to high concentrations will also cause decreased synthesis of haemoglobin and eventually anaemia.

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of lead for mussels (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) and fish indicated that concentrations were generally Moderate and to a lesser degree Low for the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic and Mediterranean (only for mussels). High concentrations, i.e. concentrations which are not suitable for human consumption, were found mainly in along the north-west coast of Italy, Sardinia, Great Britain and the Spanish coast of the Bay of Biscay.

Of the 320 (out of 360 datasets) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (311 for mussels, 9 for fish) 50 were significant, 31 down and 19 up. Inputs have been decreasing in the North-East Atlantic (cf. EEA 2011) and so has the regional trend for mussels and fish for the region (Figure 1). However, a regional upward trend was found for the Mediterranean. Upward trends were found where there were High concentrations at three stations in Italy, a station in Ireland and a single station in Croatia.

HCB
Assessment of sub-indicator:

Summary:
Concentrations of HCB in recent years were generally classified as Low or Moderate in the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. There is a predominance of no indication of improvement (no significant trend) for Moderate or High classifications (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

HCB (hexachlorobenzene) is formed as a by-product, impurity, or intermediate in various manufacturing processes, including the production of chlorinated solvents and pesticides. HCB is also formed as a product of incomplete combustion in a variety of combustion and incineration processes. Control of HCB is hampered by its long range atmospheric transport from other regions. It was used as a biocide until 1965. Chronic exposure can be a health risk to humans. Persistent organic contaminants (e.g. HCB, lindane, PCBs and DDT) have low water solubility, high lipophilicity and are resistant to biodegradation. These properties lead to uptake and accumulation in the fatty tissues of living organisms, in some instances causing biomagnification through food chains. The highest concentrations of organic contaminants are therefore found in top predators, such as sea birds, marine mammals and polar bear (Bernhoft et al. 1997; Ruus et al. 2002). Adverse effects may comprise disruption of the immune system, disruption of hormone production or transport, impairment of reproduction, embryonic damage, cancer, or damage to the nerve system.

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of HCB (hexachlorobenzene) for mussels (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) indicated that concentrations were generally Low or Moderate (Figure 1). High concentrations were found at 4 mussel stations (two in Italy, two in the Kristiansand harbour in Southern Norway and two on the North coast of Spain).

Of the 122 (out of 163) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (97 for mussels, 25 for fish) 20 were significant, 16 down and 4 up (Figure 1). A regional trend downward trend was found for the North-East Atlantic. Only two upward trends were found where Moderate concentrations were registered, both in mussels. Considering that concentrations are generally Low or Moderate in the Mediterranean and North-East Atlantic mussels as well as in fish for the latter and the Baltic, the predominance of no trends and downward trends is a positive signal. In spite of this, there is a general indication of no improvement (i.e. no trend) in over 85% of the cases where Moderate or High concentrations were found.

LINDANE
Assessment of sub-indicator:

Summary:
Concentrations of lindane in recent years were generally classified as Low or Moderate in the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Regional downward trends were found in all three seas. However, there is a predominance of no significant trends where High concentrations are found, and thus no indication of general improvement in those areas (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

Lindane or HCH (1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachlorocyclohexane), also known as benzenehexachloride (BHC), is a pesticide that is still used in parts of the world. Non-agricultural use of lindane includes use for wood preservation, as an insecticide, as rodenticide and for medicinal purposes (scab and louse ointments). Lindane is an irritant in humans and may affect mucus membranes, immune and nervous systems following exposure. Lindane is present in high concentrations in the fat of Arctic seals, polar bear.

From the limited data available on acute and chronic toxicity, some crustacean species appear to be particularly sensitive to lindane (and of course insects in freshwater), whereas e.g. molluscs and algae do not appear to be very sensitive (OSPAR 1996, 2004).. In addition to the general adverse effect related to persistent organic contaminant (cf. see text for HCB), lindane is also present in high concentrations in the fat of Arctic mammals (seals, polar bear). 

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of lindane (gamma HCH) for mussels (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) and fish indicated that concentrations were predominantly Low in the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean (where only mussels were monitored) and Low or Moderate in the Baltic Sea (Figure 1). High concentrations in mussels were generally restricted to Brittany and southern coasts of France, and some areas of Spain, Denmark and Ireland.

Of the 199 (out of 244) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (177 for mussels. 22 for fish) 86 were significant, 83 down and 3 up (Figure 1). Inputs have been decreasing in the North-East Atlantic (cf. EEA 2011). Regional trend analysis indicated a general decrease in lindane in the North-East Atlantic, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea (Figure 1). In spite of a predominance of downward trends, only 20% of stations showed a decreasing trend where there are High concentrations and the remainder showed no trend. Furthermore, it should be noted that for lindane in mussels in particular there is a relatively small interval between Low and High (0.97-1.45 µg/kg d.w.) compared to the limits used for other hazardous substances in this indicator.

PCB
Assessment of sub-indicator:

Summary:
Concentrations of PCB in recent years were generally Moderate or High in the North-East Atlantic, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea. High concentrations were more dominant in the North-East Atlantic. Generally there was a predominance of downward trends over upward trends and a regional downward trend was found in the North-East Atlantic. However, a large number of time series with High concentrations showing no significant downward trend were still observed (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of theoretically 209 different compounds (congeners) of which 150-160 are found in the environment. It should be noted that the range of PCBs are very different substances, both with regard to physio-chemical properties and with regard to their biological activity. A distinction is commonly made between the generally more carcinogenic "dioxin-like" PCBs (non- and mono-ortho chlorinated) and the more immunotoxic "bulky" PCBs (chlorinated in ≥2 ortho positions).

All PCBs are man-made, but are now found all over earth due to their persistence and relative volatility. PCBs have been previously widely used in electrical equipment, and also as a plasticiser and a paint additive. In addition to the general adverse effect related to persistent organic contaminant (cf. see text for HCB), PCBs have extreme mobility and ability to bioaccumulate and magnify in marine food webs, where long-lived animals at high trophic levels appear to be most at risk from PCBs.

As for DDT, PCBs are thought to be involved in the observed reproductive problems of polar bears and possibly earlier morphological aberrations in Baltic seals (namely due to chemical pollution from the river Rhine in the 1980s; Reijnders 1986). PCBs has been associated with lymphocyte proliferation in seal pups with can result in greater susceptibility to infections (Levin et al. 2005). PCBs have potentially endocrine-disrupting properties (EEA 2011). Furthermore, suppression of immune system function (specifically natural killer cell activity) in seals fed Baltic Sea herring (also highly contaminated with PCBs) has been observed (Ross et al., 1996). There is also an indication of contaminant-associated suppression of antibody-mediated immunity in polar bear (Bernhoft et al., 2000).

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of PCB (sum of congeners 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180) for (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) and fish indicated that concentrations were generally Moderate or High (Figure 1). Less than 6% of the stations had Low concentrations. High concentrations were found in every country that submitted data except for Iceland and Poland. It should be noted that High concentrations do not necessarily mean a risk to human health.

Of the 311 (out of 369) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (272 for mussels, 39 for fish) 48 were significant, 37 downwards and 11 upwards (Figure 1). Inputs have been decreasing in the North-East Atlantic (cf. EEA 2011) and so have the regional trends for Moderate and High classes (Figure 1). Downward trends where High or Moderate concentrations were registered were found at stations both along the coast remote from known point sources and in the harbour/estuary areas. Ten upward trends were found where High concentrations were registered; nine in Italy. Considering time series where the concentrations are High, analyses showed that in over 85% of the cases no statistically significant trend was detected, indicating no general improvement. 

DDT
Assessment of sub-indicator:

Summary:
Concentrations of DDT in recent years were predominantly classified as Moderate or High in the North-East Atlantic, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea. High level classifications were more dominant in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas than in the North-East Atlantic. Generally there was a predominance of downward trends over upward trends and a regional downward trend was found in the North-East Atlantic. However, a large number of time series with High concentrations showing no significant downward trend were still observed (assessment based on results for 1998-2010).

DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is a synthetic organochlorine insecticide that was first used to control insects that were vectors for human diseases at the end of World War II. After the war it found a ready market in peacetime agricultural enterprise. All use of DDT was discontinued in western European countries around 1990, although heavy use was banned two decades earlier. However, in developing countries, the need for cheap insecticides (to control mosquitoes, and hence malaria) has kept DDT in use also in later years. Furthermore, in some areas, e.g. in fruit-growing areas in western Norway, there are recent inputs of DDT, probably due to leaching from buried waste or unused canisters. In addition, there is a continued leaching from soil and river sediments in some areas.

DDT has over the past 50-60 years been spread over the entire globe and is now found in all natural waters and organisms. In addition to the general adverse effect related to persistent organic contaminant (cf. see text for HCB), DDT and it’s derivates have been found responsible for eggshell thinning and consequent decline in populations of predatory birds in ‘60s and ‘70s, a situation that since has improved in part due the banning of DDT. There is also evidence that a metabolite of DDT (p,p’-DDE) may have consequences for the reproduction of marine animals by affecting testosterone levels (Subramanian et al. 1987).

The station-by-station overview of 1998-2010 concentrations of DDT (using pp'DDE as a surrogate for DDT) for mussels (both Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis) and fish indicated that concentrations were generally Moderate or High (Figure 1). Less than 5% of the stations had Low concentrations. High concentrations were found in every country that submitted data except for Germany and Iceland. High concentrations were found in areas where DDT has been known to have been used (e.g. Sørfjord, western Norway). It should be noted that High concentrations do not necessarily mean a risk to human health.

Of the 228 (out of 280) temporal trends statistically analysed on station-by-station basis (206 for mussels, 22 for fish) only 47 were significant, 37 down and 10 up (Figure 1). The regional trend for the North-East Atlantic indicated a general decrease (Figure 1). Downward trends where Moderate concentrations were registered included mostly stations in France, Norway and Denmark. The 10 upward trends where there were Moderate or High concentrations were in Italy (seven stations) and Spain (three stations). The general predominance of downward trends is positive, however over 79% of the cases where Moderate or High concentrations were found showed no temporal trends, indicating no general improvement.

References

  • 2008/105/EC. Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
  • Ruus, A., Ugland, K.I., Skaare, J.U., 2002. 'Influence of trophic position on organochlorine concentrations and compositional patterns in a marine food web', Environ Toxicol Chem 212356-2364.
  • Bernhoft, A, Wiig, Ø., Skaare, J.U., 1997. 'Organochlorines in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) at Svalbard', Envion Pollut 95:159-175.
  • Reijnders, P.J.H., 1986. Reproductive failure in common seals feeding on fish from polluted coastal waters. Nature 324:456-457.
  • Bernhoft. A., Skaare, J.U., Wiig, Ø., Derocher, A.E., Larsen, H.J.S., 2000.Possible immunotoxic effects of organochlorines in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) at Svalbard. J Toxicol Environ Health A 59:561-574.
  • Ross, P.S., DeSwart, R.L., Timmerman, H.H., Reijnders, P.J.H., Vos, J.G., VanLoveren, H., Osterhaus, A.D.M.E., 1996 'Suppression of natual killer cell activity in harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) fed Baltic Sea herring', Aquat Toxicol 34:71-84.
  • Subramanian A.N., Tanabe, S., Tatsukawa, R. Saito, S,. Miyazaki, N., 1987. Reduction in the testosterone levels by PCBs and DDE in Dall's porpoises of Northwestern North Pacific. Mar Pollut Bull 18:643-646.
  • Subramanian A.N., Tanabe, S., Tatsukawa, R. Saito, S,. Miyazaki, N., 1987. Reduction in the testosterone levels by PCBs and DDE in Dall's porpoises of Northwestern North Pacific. Mar Pollut Bull 18:643-646.
  • OSPAR, 2004. OSPAR/ICES Workshop on the evaluation and update of background reference concentrations (B/RCs) and ecotoxicological assessment criteria (EACs) and how these assessment tools should be used in assessing contaminants in water, sediment and bio
  • OSPAR, 2009. Status and trends of marine chemical pollution, OSPAR Commission
  • NSC, 2002. Progress report. Fifth International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea 20-21 March 2002 Bergen, Norway. 209 pp.
  • Levin, M; De Guise, S; Ross, PS. 2005. Association between lymphocyte proliferation and polychlorinated biphenyls in free-ranging harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) pups from British Columbia, Canada. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24 (5): 1247-1252.
  • NSC, 2002. Progress report. Fifth International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea 20-21 March 2002 Bergen, Norway. 209 pp.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Constança De Carvalho Belchior

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2012 1.5.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 2 years in July-September (Q3)

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100