Letcher Robert J.

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Robert J.

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  • Preprint
    Contemporary 14C radiocarbon levels of oxygenated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (O-PBDEs) isolated in sponge–cyanobacteria associations
    ( 2010-12) Guitart, Carlos ; Slattery, Marc ; Ankisetty, Sridevi ; Radwan, Mohamed ; Ross, Samir J. ; Letcher, Robert J. ; Reddy, Christopher M.
    Considerable debate surrounds the sources of oxygenated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (O-PBDEs) in wildlife as to whether they are naturally produced or result from anthropogenic industrial activities. Natural radiocarbon (14C) abundance has proven to be a powerful tool to address this problem as recently biosynthesized compounds contain contemporary (i.e. modern) amounts of atmospheric radiocarbon; whereas industrial chemicals, mostly produced from fossil fuels, contain no detectable 14C. However, few compounds isolated from organisms have been analyzed for their radiocarbon content. To provide a baseline, we analyzed the 14C content of four OPBDEs. These compounds, 6-OH-BDE47, 2’-OH-BDE68, 2’,6-diOH-BDE159, and a recently identified compound, 2’-MeO-6-OH-BDE120, were isolated from the tropical marine sponges Dysidea granulosa and Lendenfeldia dendyi. The modern radiocarbon content of their chemical structures (i.e. diphenyl ethers, C12H22O) indicates that they are naturally produced. This adds to a growing baseline on, at least, the sources of these unusual compounds.
  • Preprint
    Organohalogen contaminants and metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and cerebellum gray matter in short-beaked common dolphins and Atlantic white-sided dolphins from the western North Atlantic
    ( 2009-03-12) Montie, Eric W. ; Reddy, Christopher M. ; Gebbink, Wouter A. ; Touhey, Kathleen M. ; Hahn, Mark E. ; Letcher, Robert J.
    Concentrations of several congeners and classes of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and/or their metabolites, namely organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hydroxylated-PCBs (OH-PCBs), methylsulfonyl-PCBs (MeSO2-PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants, and OH-PBDEs, were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of short-beaked common dolphins (n = 2), Atlantic white-sided dolphins (n = 8), and gray seal (n = 1) from the western North Atlantic. In three Atlantic white-sided dolphins, cerebellum gray matter (GM) was also analyzed. The levels of OCs, PCBs, MeSO2-PCBs, PBDEs, and OH-PBDEs in cerebellum GM were higher than the concentrations in CSF. 4-OH-2,3,3’,4’,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (4-OH-CB107) was the only detectable OH-PCB congener present in CSF. The sum (Σ) OH-PCBs/ Σ PCB concentration ratio in CSF was approximately two to three orders of magnitude greater than the ratio in cerebellum GM for dolphins.