Peregrine falcons take up Deca - Environmental Science

Peregrine falcons take up Deca. Kellyn S. Betts. Environ. Sci. Technol. , 2004, 38 (1), pp 9A–9A. DOI: 10.1021/es040323l. Publication Date (Web): Ja...
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form BDE-47 or BDE-99, the major species typically found in fish. Also…the research seems to clearly support our extensive research demonstrating that Deca is not well absorbed,” according to a statement from the organization. Stapleton and Baker say that they are planning to look for other, non-PBDE breakdown products, including hydroxylated compounds, in the next studies they conduct. Another research paper in this issue describes nine methoxylated and hydroxylated PBDEs never previously reported in the environment in Baltic Sea salmon (pp 10–18). KELLYN S. BETTS

The eggs of Swedish peregrine falcons contain compounds in the Deca formulation, according to research published in this issue of ES&T (pp 93–96). Falcons are top predators, and they inhabit the highest trophic level in which brominated diphenyl ether (BDE) 209, a Deca molecule, has been found, says the paper’s corresponding author, The presence of Deca in peregrine falCynthia de Wit of Stockholm con eggs hints that researchers should University in Sweden. spend more time trying to find the comThe research also represents one pound in terrestrial ecosystems. of the first times that Deca has been detected in a terrestrial predator, and it suggests that the compound may be more of a concern in terrestrial ecosystems than previously believed. The diet of peregrine falcons consists solely of other birds, and de Wit posits two potential sources for the Deca compounds. Shorebirds, such as wading ducks, are the main prey of falcons living in the northern part of Sweden. Such birds may be taking up PBDEs by filtering contaminated sediments or eating the invertebrates that live in the sediments. And songbirds, such as thrushes and doves, which are more favored by falcons living in southern Sweden, may be taking up PBDEs through worms exposed to contaminated soil. The falcons may also be exposed to the PBDEs when they overwinter in central European sites with known PBDE releases, she says. The overall levels of PBDEs in the eggs were up to 39,000 nanograms per gram of fat, which are some of the highest yet reported in wildlife, de Wit adds. Although the PBDEs are not associated with the eggshell thinning that made falcons’ uptake of DDT so problematic, the neurobehavioral problems associated with neonatal exposure to PBDEs could prove problematic for a bird that relies on surprising its prey and diving on it, she says. —KELLYN S. BETTS


Peregrine falcons take up Deca

News Briefs EU widens energy taxation All energy products in the European Union (EU)—including coal, natural gas, and electricity—will be subject to a uniform minimum tax starting in January 2004, according to a directive set by the EU’s environment ministers in October. Previously, minimum taxes were set only for mineral oils. Member states will levy taxes above the minimum set by the EU; the intention is to reduce tax disparities among different countries and fuels. The tax is also expected to increase the incentive to use energy more efficiently, and it will allow member states to offer tax incentives to companies in return for undertaking specific measures, such as new technologies to reduce emissions. For more information, go to comm/taxation_customs/whatsnew.htm.

Investors seek more climate change data The effort to collect greenhouse gas emissions data by a group of institutional investors widened in November, when the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) sent out its second solicitation for data. The CDP, which is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, again wrote to the 500 largest quoted companies in the world (based on worth rather than profits) in hopes of collecting data from the 255 companies that did not respond to the first survey and progress reports from the companies that had previously responded. The 87 investors now involved in the CDP project, who control assets totaling more than $9 trillion, say that actions relating to climate change offer potential business risk and opportunities (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2003, 37, 165A). The project’s first trawl for data in May 2002 produced 245 replies. For more information, see



Penta mix, but not very much,” she says. Researchers have a wealth of evidence that Deca is breaking down in other species and humans, and perhaps in the environment, Birnbaum says. The new research points to “somewhat of a different paradigm,” adds Baker. While concerns about accumulation of PCBs and dioxins are based on the chemicals themselves, the metabolites are the issue with BDE-209, he says. However, the Bromine Science and Environment Forum, an industry group, says that the research “seems to counter the contention that Deca debrominates in fish to