Two Abundant Bioaccumulated Halogenated Compounds Are Natural Products

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Science  11 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5711, pp. 917-920
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106882

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Methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs) have been found bioaccumulated in the tissues of a variety of aquatic animals and at concentrations comparable to those of anthropogenic halogenated organic compounds, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The origin of the MeO-PBDEs has been uncertain; circumstantial evidence supports a natural and/or an industrial source. By analyzing the natural abundance radiocarbon content of two MeO-PBDEs isolated from a True's beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus), we show that these compounds were naturally produced.

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