Document Detail

Bird feathers as bioindicators in areas of the German Environmental Specimen Bank--bioaccumulation of mercury in food chains and exogenous deposition of atmospheric pollution with lead and cadmium.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8272834     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Feathers of selected bird species are used as pollution integrating biomonitors in areas of the German Environmental Specimen Bank. Lead, cadmium and mercury are analysed by Zeeman Solid Sampling AAS in feather vanes of selected bird species with different ecologies. In feather vanes there are quite different distribution patterns of lead and cadmium on the one hand and mercury on the other: lead and cadmium show strong gradients with respect to feather parts with high exposure to atmospheric influences. In contrast to this, mercury is distributed homogeneously. These different distribution patterns of lead and cadmium in feather vanes, in contrast to mercury, show that there are quite different incorporation paths. Cadmium and lead are deposited exogenously and indicate atmospheric pollution. Mercury in feathers is caused endogenously by food and physiology. Most of the mercury analysed in bird's feathers is in the ecotoxic methylated form and the contents in feathers depend on bioaccumulation in food chains. Feathers are suitable indicators for monitoring heavy metal pollution and give us information about incorporation paths and ecotoxic effects.
E Hahn; K Hahn; M Stoeppler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Science of the total environment     Volume:  139-140     ISSN:  0048-9697     ISO Abbreviation:  Sci. Total Environ.     Publication Date:  1993 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1994-02-03     Completed Date:  1994-02-03     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330500     Medline TA:  Sci Total Environ     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  259-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Bureau for Biomonitoring, Jülich, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Air Pollution / analysis*
Cadmium / analysis*,  metabolism
Environmental Monitoring*
Feathers / chemistry*
Lead / analysis*,  metabolism
Mercury / analysis*,  metabolism
Species Specificity
Specimen Handling
Tissue Banks / organization & administration*
Reg. No./Substance:
7439-92-1/Lead; 7439-97-6/Mercury; 7440-43-9/Cadmium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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