Levels and temporal trends of HCH isomers in ringed seals from West and East Greenland
Levels and temporal trends of the hexachlorocyclohexane isomers α-, β- and γ-HCH were analysed in blubber of juvenile ringed seals from West Greenland (1994 to 2006) and juvenile and adult ringed seals from East Greenland (1986 to 2006). No significant differences in the concentration levels in the juvenile seals were found between East and West Greenland for any of the three isomers. α-HCH concentrations were not significantly different between juvenile and adult ringed seals from East Greenland, whereas β- and γ-HCH concentrations were significantly higher in adult ringed seals. α- and β-HCH in Greenland ringed seals were approximately a factor two lower than in the Canadian Arctic, and α-HCH was a factor 2–3 higher than in ringed seals from an area east of Svalbard, Norway. Annual decreases in ringed seals from Greenland during the study periods were detected to be 9.1–11.7%, 1.4–3.9% and 6.0–6.4% for α-, β- and γ-HCH, respectively, being quite similar in both East and West Greenland. Similar levels and trends in East and West Greenland support the general understanding of the pathways of HCH isomers to and in the Arctic.