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Essential trace (Zn, Cu, Mn) and toxic (Cd, Pb, Cr) elements in the liver of birds from Eastern Poland

Author(s): Komosa A. | Kitowski I. | Komosa Z.

Journal: Acta Veterinaria
ISSN 0567-8315

Volume: 62;
Issue: 5-6;
Start page: 579;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: atomic absorption spectrometry | birds | Eastern Poland | liver | toxic elements | trace element

We have focused our study on the concentrations of essential heavy metals (Zn, Cu and Mn) and non-essential trace metals (Pb, Cd and Cr) in the livers of birds from Eastern Poland. The largest mean amount of Zn - as much as 279 mg/kg dry mass (d.m.) - was found in mute swans. However, only in one of the analysed buzzard specimens the concentration of Zn, found to be 664 mg/kg d.m., exceeded the level indicative of poisoning for this element. Birds specializing in catching rodents accumulated Mn in their livers in a very narrow range of concentrations, around 5.0 mg/kg d.m. on average. The range of mean Mn concentrations (around 6.5 mg/kg d.m.) was also found to be narrow for piscivorous birds. The highest mean levels of Pb were found in mute swans (2.7 mg/kg d.m.), and the highest levels of Cd (2.0 mg/kg d.m.) for rooks. Concentrations of total Cr above detection level were found in 22 specimens (53.7%), and concentration values were highest for rooks. Analyses showed that the concentrations of biogenic elements did not exceed the levels indicative of poisoning (except in one specimen). The study demonstrated that lead shots remain a hazard to water ecosystems. Pb, Cd and Cr levels in the livers of omnivorous and piscivorous species indicate the permanent presence of these elements in the environment and may confirm the thesis about the growing role of electronic waste, including metallic e-waste, in the emission of the total amount of contamination with these elements.
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