Toxic heritage: maternal transfer of pyrethroid insecticides and sunscreen agents in dolphins from Brazil
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Pyrethroids (PYR) and UV filters (UVF) were investigated in tissues of paired mother-fetus dolphins from Brazilian coast in order to investigate the possibility of maternal transfer of these emerging contaminants. Comparison of PYR and UVF concentrations in maternal and fetal blubber revealed Franciscana transferred efficiently both contaminants to fetuses (F/M > 1) and Guiana dolphin transferred efficiently PYR to fetuses (F/M > 1) different than UVF (F/M < 1). PYR and UVF concentrations in fetuses were the highest-ever reported in biota (up to 6640 and 11,530 ng/g lw, respectively). Muscle was the organ with the highest PYR and UVF concentrations (p < 0.001), suggesting that these two classes of emerging contaminants may have more affinity for proteins than for lipids. The high PYR and UVF concentrations found in fetuses demonstrate these compounds are efficiently transferred through placenta. This study is the first to report maternal transfer of pyrethroids and UV filters in marine mammals.