Lead accumulation and depression of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in young birds fed automotive waste oil

  • William C. EastinJr.
  • David J. Hoffman
  • Carol T. O'Leary


The effects of a 3-week dietary exposure to automotive waste crankcase oil (WCO) were examined in 1-week-old mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings and pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) chicks. Treatment groups consisted of birds exposed to 0.5, 1.5, or 4.5% WCO, to 4.5% clean crankcase oil (CCO), or untreated controls. In both species, red blood cell ALAD activity was significantly inhibited after one week by 50 to 60% in the 0.5% WCO group and by 85 to 90% in the 4.5% WCO group due to the presence of lead. Growth, hematocrit, and hemoglobin were not significantly affected at the end of three weeks. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity was higher in mallards after three weeks of ingesting either 4.5% WCO or 4.5% CCO, suggesting an oil-related effect due to components other than lead. Treatment had no effect on plasma concentration of uric acid, glucose, triglycerides, total protein, or cholesterol. Lead analysis showed the WCO to contain 4,200 ppm Pb and the CCO to contain 2 ppm. Tissues of mallards were examined for accumulation of lead and the order of accumulation at the end of three weeks was kidney > liver > blood ∼ brain.


Cholesterol Waste Water Depression Triglyceride Uric Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C. EastinJr.
    • 1
  • David J. Hoffman
    • 1
  • Carol T. O'Leary
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServicePatuxent Wildlife Research CenterLaurel

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