Bioavailability of lead from contaminated sediment in northern bobwhites, Colinus virginianus

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Abstract

Sediment from Killarney Lake, Idaho was added to the diet of captive northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) to determine absorption of Pb from contaminated sediment. The sediment, containing 4,500 μg g−1 Pb dry weight (d.w.), was added to ground poultry ration at 8% dry matter intake (DMI) for 21 days. Concentrations of Pb in blood, liver, and kidneys of each bobwhite were determined and compared to concentrations in untreated control bobwhites. Treated bobwhites showed no significant decline (P>0.05) in food intake or body mass over time. In 90% of treated bobwhites, blood Pb concentrations reached levels associated with clinical Pb poisoning (>0.8 μg g−1 wet weight, w.w.); and all treated bob-whites had elevated liver and kidney Pb concentrations. It was shown that tissue Pb accumulation can occur from ingestion of Pb-contaminated sediment.