Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Locally Made Antifouling Agent (Sifa)

Haji Mwevura
This paper reports the level of persistent of organic pollutants (POPs) from locally made antifouling agent (Sifa) in Zanzibar. A total of 9 samples of the antifouling agent prepared from decayed mixture of blubber and liver of common bottlenose (Tursiops truncates) dolphins were analysed for a wide range of acid stable organohalogen compounds. Organochlorine pesticides mostly DDT metabolites and methoxylated brominated diphenyl ethers were found well above the detection limits. The levels of DDTs measured in this study were highly dominated by p,p’-DDE reflecting the effect of metabolism due to the decay process. The concentrations of two MeO-BDEs found in this study showed significant correlation (R2= 0.952) indicating that they originate from the same source and they have same stability to microbial degradation. Pollutants of industrial origin, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were not detected showing that the sampled areas are free from persistent industrial pollutants. The results indicate that users of local antifouling agent are exposed to aged chlorinated contaminants though the levels have no detrimental effects on their health. On the contrary, HCHs were found in trace levels in fresh samples of dolphin liver, indicating their relatively low persistence compared to DDTs.
Local antifouling; methoxylated brominated diphenyl ethers; organohalogen; Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); Sifa
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