Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 114, Issue 1–3, pp 331–359

Organochlorines and Mercury in Waterfowl Harvested in Canada

Article

Abstract

Samples of breast muscle from 32 species of waterfowl collected from 123 sites across Canada were analyzed for chlorobenzenes (CBz), chlordane-related compounds (CHL), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH), DDT, mirex, dieldrin, PCBs and mercury. ΣDDT, ΣCBz and ΣPCB were the compounds most frequently found above trace levels. ΣHCH and ΣMirex were detected the least often. Mercury was detected in all of the mergansers, over 50% of dabbling, bay and sea ducks, and in less than 2% of the geese analysed. The highest levels of contaminants were generally found in birds feeding at higher trophic levels such as sea ducks and mergansers. With the exception of a few samples of mergansers and long-tailed ducks from eastern Canada, which contained ΣPCB concentrations of 1.0–2.4 mg kg−1, ΣPCB levels were less than 1 mg kg−1 wet weight. Only one merganser from eastern Canada had a ΣDDT concentration (2.6 mg kg−1 ww) which was greater than 1 mg kg−1 ww. The highest ΣCHL (0.10 mg kg−1 ww) was also found in mergansers from eastern Canada. Levels of total mercury in breast muscle were either low (< 1 mg kg−1 ww) or below detection limits with the exception of a few samples of mergansers from eastern Canada which contained mercury concentrations of 1.0–1.5 mg kg−1 ww. Health Canada determined that the organochlorine and mercury levels found in samples of breast muscle of ducks and geese analysed in this study did not pose a health hazard to human consumers and therefore these waterfowl were safe to eat.

Keywords

breast muscle Canada DDT ducks geese mercury organochlorines PCBs waterfowl consumption guidelines 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alton Mackey, M. G. and Moore Orr, R. D.: 1988, ‘The seasonal nutrient density of country food harvested in Makkovik, Labrador’, Arctic 41, 105–108.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, D. W. and Hickey, J. J.: 1976, ‘Dynamics of storage of organochlorine pollutants in herring gulls’, Environ. Pollut. 10, 183–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Annett, C. S., D'Itri, F. M., Ford, J. R. and Prince, H. H.: 1975, ‘Mercury in fish and waterfowl from Ball Lake, Ontario’, J. Environ. Qual. 4, 219–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Avrahami, M. and Steele, R. T.: 1972, ‘Hexachlorobenzene. II. Residues in laying pullets fed HCB in their diet and the effects on egg production, egg hatchability, and on chickens’, N.Z. J. Agric. Res. 15, 482–488. (Cited in Wiemeyer, 1996).Google Scholar
  5. Baker, F. D., Tumasonis, C. F., Stone, W. B. and Bush, B.: 1976, ‘Levels of PCB and trace metals in waterfowl in New York State’, N.Y. Fish Game J. 23, 82–91.Google Scholar
  6. Ballschmiter, K. and Zell, M.: 1980, ‘Analysis of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by glass capillary gas chromatography. Composition of technical Aroclor- and Clophen-PCB mixtures’, Fres. Z. Anal. Chem. 302, 20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bard, S. M.: 1999, ‘Global transport of anthropogenic contaminants and the consequences for the Arctic marine ecosystem’, Mar. Pollut. Bull. 38, 356–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barr, J. F.: 1986, ‘Population Dynamics of the Common Loon (Gavia immer) Associated with Mercury Contaminated Waters in Northwestern Ontario’, Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper, No. 56, 25 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Barrie, L. A., Gregor, D., Hargrave, B., Lake, R., Muir, D., Shearer, R., Tracey, B. and Bidleman, T.: 1992, ‘Arctic contaminants: sources, occurrence and pathways’, Sci. Tot. Environ. 122, 1–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baskett, T. S.: 1975, ‘Residues in fish, wildlife and estuaries’, Pestic. Monit. J. 9, 67–78.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Bellrose, F. C.: 1980, Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America, 3rd ed., Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA, 540 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Blus, L. J., Henny, C. J., Stafford, C. J. and Grove, R. A.: 1987, ‘Persistence of DDT and metabolites in wildlife from Washington state orchards’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 16, 467–476.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Braune, B. M., Malone, B., Burgess, N. M., Elliott, J. E., Garrity, N., Hawkings, J., Hines, J., Marshall, H., Marshall, W. K., Rodrigue, J., Wakeford, B., Wayland, M., Weseloh, D. V. and Whitehead, P. E.: 1999, ‘Chemical Residues in Gamebirds Harvested in Canada, 1987–95’, Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report Series, No. 326, Ottawa, 443 pp. Available at http://www.cws-scf.ec.gc.ca/publications/AbstractTemplate.cfm?lang=e&id=326
  14. Braune, B. M., Wong, M. P., Belles-Isles, J.-C. and Marshall, W. K.: 1991, ‘Chemical Residues in Canadian Game Birds’, Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report Series, No. 124, Ottawa, 375 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Bredin, K. A., Burgess, N. M., McCorquodale, D. B. and Harris, D. L.: 1997, ‘Volunteer Surveys of Waterbirds of the Sydney, Nova Scotia Area, Including the Sydney Tar Ponds, 1993–1996’, Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report Series, No. 273, Ottawa, 40 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Cain, B. W.: 1988, ‘Wintering Waterfowl Habitat in Texas: Shrinking and Contaminated’, in: M.W. Weller (ed), Waterfowl in Winter, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp. 583–596.Google Scholar
  17. Cameron, M. and Weis, I. M.: 1993, ‘Organochlorine contaminants in the country food diet of the Belcher Island Inuit, Northwest Territories, Canada’, Arctic 46, 42–48.Google Scholar
  18. Cohen, J. B., Barclay, J. S., Major, A. R. and Fisher, J. P.: 2000, ‘Wintering greater scaup as biomonitors of metal contamination in federal wildlife refuges in the Long Island Region’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 38, 83–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Custer, T. W., Sparks, D. W., Sobiech, S. A., Hines, R. K. and Melancon, M. J.: 1996, ‘Organochlorine accumulation by sentinel mallards at the Winston-Thomas sewage treatment plant, Bloomington, Indiana’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 30, 163–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dahlgren, R. B., Bury, R. J., Linder, R. L. and Reidinger Jr., R.F.: 1972, ‘Residue levels and histopathology in pheasants given polychlorinated biphenyls’, J. Wildl. Manage. 36, 524–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Desai-Greenaway, P. and Price, I. M.: 1976. ‘Mercury in Canadian Fish and Wildlife Used in the Diets of Native People’, Canadian Wildlife Service Manuscript Report, No. 35, Ottawa, 61 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Dickson, K. and Métras, L.: 1987, ‘Migratory Birds Killed in Canada During the 1986 Season’, Canadian Wildlife Service Progress Notes, No. 171, Ottawa, 42 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Dietz, R., Riget, F. and Johansen, P.: 1996, ‘Lead, cadmium, mercury and selenium in Greenland marine animals’, Sci. Total Environ. 186, 67–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Dobos, R. Z., Painter, D. S. and Mudroch, A.: 1991, ‘Contaminants in wildlife utilizing confined disposal facilities’, Inter. J. Environ. Pollut. 1, 73–86.Google Scholar
  25. Ehrlich, P. R., Dobkin, D. S. and Wheye, D.: 1988, The Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds, Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, 785 pp.Google Scholar
  26. Elliott, J. E. and Martin, P. A.: 1998, ‘Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants in grebes and sea ducks wintering on the coast of British Columbia, Canada: 1988–1993’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 53, 337–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Elliott, J. E., Martin, P. A., Arnold, T. W. and Sinclair, P. H.: 1994, ‘Organochlorines and reproductive success of birds in orchard and non-orchard areas of central British Columbia, Canada 1990–91’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 26, 435–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fimreite, N., Holsworth, W. N., Keith, J. A., Pearce, P. A. and Gruchy, I. M.: 1971, ‘Mercury in fish and fish-eating birds near sites of industrial contamination in Canada’, Can. Fld-Nat. 85, 211–220.Google Scholar
  29. Fimreite, N.: 1974, ‘Mercury contamination of aquatic birds in northwestern Ontario’, J. Wildl. Manage. 38, 120–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fletcher, M. R.: 1972, ‘Effects of hexachlorobenzene on Japanese quail’, Proc. West. Assoc. State Game Fish Comm. 52, 374–383. (Cited in Wiemeyer, 1996)Google Scholar
  31. Foley, R. E.: 1992, ‘Organochlorine residues in New York waterfowl harvested by hunters in 1983–1984’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 21, 37–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Foley, R. E. and Batcheller, G. R.: 1988, ‘Organochlorine contaminants in common goldeneye wintering on the Niagara River’, J. Wildl. Manage. 52, 441–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gamble, R. L.: 1987, ‘Native Harvest of Wildlife in Keewatin Region, Northwest Territories for the Period October 1985 to March 1986 and a Summary for the Entire Period of the Harvest Study from October 1981 to March 1986’, Canadian Data Report of Fisheries Aquatic Science, No. 688, Winnipeg, MB, 85 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Gebauer, M. B. and Weseloh, D. V.: 1993, ‘Accumulation of organic contaminants in sentinel mallards utilizing confined disposal facilities at Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario, Canada’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 25, 234–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Haseltine, S. D., Finley, M. T. and Cromartie, E.: 1980, ‘Reproduction and residue accumulation in black ducks fed toxaphene’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 9, 461–471.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Heath, R. G.: 1969, ‘Nationwide survey of residues of organochlorine pesticides in wings of mallards and black ducks’, Pestic. Monit. J. 3, 115–123.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Hebert, C. E., Haffner, G. D., Weis, I. M., Lazar, R. and Montour, L.: 1990, ‘Organochlorine contaminants in duck populations of Walpole Island’, J. Great Lakes Res. 16, 21–26.Google Scholar
  38. Hebert, C. E., Norstrom, R. J., Simon, M., Braune, B. M., Weseloh, D. V. and Macdonald, C. R.: 1994a, ‘Temporal trends and sources of PCDDs and PCDFs in the Great Lakes: Herring gull egg monitoring, 1981–1991’, Environ. Sci. Technol. 28, 1268–1277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hebert, C. E., Weseloh, D. V., Kot, L. and Glooschenko, V.: 1994b, ‘Organochlorine contaminants in a terrestrial foodweb on the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 26, 356–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hebert, C. E., Norstrom, R. J. and Weseloh, D. V.: 1999. ‘A quarter century of environmental surveillance: The Canadian Wildlife Service's Great Lakes Herring Gull Monitoring Program’, Environ. Rev. 7, 147–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Heinz, G. H.: 1979, ‘Methylmercury: Reproductive and behavioural effects on three generations of mallard ducks’, J. Wildl. Manage. 43, 394–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Heinz, G. H., Miller, D. S., Ebert, B. J. and Stromborg, K. L.: 1994, ‘Declines in organochlorines in eggs of red-breasted mergansers from Lake Michigan, 1977–1978 versus 1990’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 33, 175–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Holt, G., Froslie, A. and Norheim, G.: 1979, ‘Mercury, DDE, and PCB in the avifauna in Norway 1965–1976’, Acta Vet. Scand. Suppl. 70, 1–28.Google Scholar
  44. Hyde, K. M., Graves, J. B., Watts, A. B. and Bonner, F. L.: 1973, ‘Reproductive success of mallard ducks fed mirex’, J. Wildl. Manage. 37, 479–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jacknow, J., Ludke, J. L. and Coon, N. C.: 1986, ‘Monitoring Fish and Wildlife for Environmental Contaminants: the National Contaminant Biomonitoring Program’, Fish Wildlife Leaflet, No. 4, U.S. Fish Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., 15 pp.Google Scholar
  46. James Bay and Northern Québec Native Harvesting Research Committee: 1988, ‘Final Report: Research to Establish Present Levels of Native Harvesting for the Inuit of Northern Québec. 1976–1980’, Final Report, James Bay and Northern Québec Native Harvesting Research Committee, Québec.Google Scholar
  47. Kim, H. T., Kim, K. S., Kim, J. S. and Stone, W. B.: 1985, ‘Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDE, and mirex in waterfowl collected in New York State, 1981–1982’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 14, 13–18.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Kim, K. S., Pastel, M. J., Kim, J. S. and Stone, W. B.: 1984, ‘Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, DDE and mirex in waterfowl collected in New York State, 1979–1980’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 13, 373–381.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Kuhnlein, H. V.: 1991, ‘Dietary Evaluation of Food, Nutrients and Contaminants in Fort Good Hope and Colville Lake, Northwest Territories’, Final Report to Medical Services Branch and National Health Research and Development Program – North 60°, Health and Welfare Canada, McGill University, Montreal, 138 pp.Google Scholar
  50. Legris, A. M. and Lévesque, H.: 1991, ‘Migratory Game Birds Harvested in Canada During the 1990 Hunting Season’, Canadian Wildlife Service Progress Notes, No. 197, 40 pp.Google Scholar
  51. Lévesque, H., Collins, B. and Legris, A. M.: 1993, ‘Migratory Game Birds Harvested in Canada During the 1991 Hunting Season’, Canadian Wildlife Service Progress Notes, No. 204, 42 pp.Google Scholar
  52. Mehrle, P. M., Finley, M. T., Ludke, J. L., Mayer, F. L. and Kaiser, T. E.: 1979, ‘Bone development in black ducks as affected by dietary toxaphene’, Pest. Biochem. Physiol. 10, 168–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Michigan DNR: 1993, ‘Michigan Wildlife Contaminant Monitoring Program’, 1992 Annual Report, Michigan Department of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  54. Mullie, A., Ross, R. K. and Dennis, D. G.: 1996, ‘Overview of Migrant Waterfowl Use of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern and Other Selected Coastal Sectors in Southern Ontario’, Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report Series, No. 261, Ottawa, 144 pp.Google Scholar
  55. Nebeker, A. V., Griffis, W. L., Stutzman, T. W., Schuytema, G. S., Carey, L. A. and Scherer, S. M.: 1992, ‘Effects of aqueous and dietary exposure of dieldrin on survival, growth and bioconcentration in mallard ducklings’, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 11, 687–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Norstrom, R. J., Simon, M., Muir, D. C.G. and Schweinsburg, R. E.: 1988, ‘Organochlorine contaminants in arctic marine food chains: Identification, geographical distribution, and temporal trends in polar bears’, Environ. Sci. Technol. 22, 1063–1071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Norstrom, R. J. and Won, H. T.: 1985, ‘Long-term preservation of egg and tissue homogenates for determination of organochlorine compounds: freezing versus freeze-drying’, J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. 68, 130–135.Google Scholar
  58. Ohlendorf, H. M. and Miller, M. R.: 1984, ‘Organochlorine contaminants in California waterfowl’, J. Wildl. Manage. 48, 867–877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Peakall, D. B. and Peakall, M. L.: 1973, ‘Effects of a polychlorinated biphenyl on the reproduction of artificially and naturally incubated dove eggs’, J. Appl. Ecol. 10, 863–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Pearce, P. A., Price, I. M. and Reynolds, L. M.: 1976, ‘Mercury in waterfowl from eastern Canada’, J. Wildl. Manage. 40, 694–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Perkins, C. P. and Barclay, J. S.: 1997, ‘Accumulation and mobilization of organochlorine contaminants in wintering greater scaup’, J. Wildl. Manage. 61, 444–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Peterson, S. R. and Ellarson, R. S.: 1976, ‘Total mercury residues in livers and eggs of oldsquaws’, J. Wildl. Manage. 40, 704–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Platenow, N. S., Karstad, L. H. and Saschenbrecker, P. W.: 1973, ‘Tissue distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1254) in cockerels; relation to the duration of exposure and observations on pathology’, Can. J. Comp. Med. 37, 90–95.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Porter, P. S., Ward, R. C. and Bell, H. F.: 1988, ‘The detection limit’, Environ. Sci. Technol. 22, 856–861.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Prevett, J. P., Lumsden, H. G. and Johnson, F. C.: 1983, ‘Waterfowl kill by Cree hunters of the Hudson Bay Lowland, Ontario’, Arctic 36, 185–192.Google Scholar
  66. Prouty, R. M. and Bunck, C. M.: 1986, ‘Organochlorine residues in adult mallard and black duck wings, 1981–82’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 6, 49–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Robbins, C. S., Bruun, B. and Zim, H. S.: 1983, Birds of North America, Golden Press, New York, 360 pp.Google Scholar
  68. Rodrigue, J., Desgranges, J.-L. and Titman, R.: 1992, ‘Use of Peking Ducks (Anas platyrhynchus) as a Bioindicator of Contamination by Bioaccumulative Substances in the Natural Environment (St. Lawrence River, Canada)’, in: J. Bohac (ed), Proceedings of the VIth International Conference of Bioindicatores Deteriorisation Regionis, Institute of Landscape Ecology CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, pp. 278–285.Google Scholar
  69. Schmitt, C. J. and Bunck, C. M.: 1995, ‘Persistent Environmental Contaminants in Fish and Wildlife’, in: E. T. Laroe, G. S. Farris, C. E. Puckett, P. D. Doran and M. J. Mac (eds), Our Living Resources: A Report to the Nation on the Distribution, Abundance and Health of U.S. Plants, Animals and Ecosystems, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Service, Washington, DC, pp. 413–416.Google Scholar
  70. Schwartz, T. R. and Stalling, D. L.: 1991, ‘Chemometric comparison of polychlorinated biphenyl residues and toxicologically active polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in the eggs of Forster's terns (Sterna fosteri)’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 20, 183–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Skinner, L. C.: 1992, ‘Chemical Contaminants in Wildlife from the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne and the Vicinity of the General Motors Corporation/Central Foundry Division, Massena, New York Plant’, Technical Report, 92–4, Div. Fish Wildl., N.Y. State Dept. Environ. Conserv., Albany, NY, 113 pp.Google Scholar
  72. Smith, V. E., Spurr, J. M., Filkins, J. C. and Jones, J. J.: 1985, ‘Organochlorine contaminants of wintering ducks foraging on Detroit River sediments’, J. Great Lakes Res. 11, 231–246.Google Scholar
  73. Swift, B. L., Foley, R. E. and Batcheller, G. R.: 1993, ‘Organochlorines in common goldeneyes wintering in New York’, Wildl. Soc. Bull. 21, 52–56.Google Scholar
  74. Tobias, T. N. and Kay, J. J.: 1993, ‘The bush harvest in Pinehouse, Saskatchewan’, Arctic 47, 207–221.Google Scholar
  75. Vermeer, K., Armstrong, F. A. J. and Hatch, D. R. M.: 1973, ‘Mercury in aquatic birds at Clay Lake, western Ontario’, J. Wildl. Manage. 37, 58–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wakeford, B. and Turle, R.: 1997, ‘In-house Reference Materials as a Means to Quality Assurance: The Canadian Wildlife Service Experience’, in: R. E. Clement, L. H. Keith and K. W. M. Siu (eds), Reference Materials for Environmental Analysis, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 205–231.Google Scholar
  77. Wein, E. E., Henderson Sabry, J. and Evers, F. T.: 1991, ‘Food consumption patterns and use of country foods by Native Canadians near Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’, Arctic 44, 196–205.Google Scholar
  78. Weseloh, D. V., Hamr, P., Bishop, C. A. and Norstrom, R. J.: 1995, ‘Organochlorine contaminant levels in waterbird species from Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario: An IJC area of concern’, J. Great Lakes Res. 21, 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Weseloh, D. V., Struger, J. and Hebert, C.: 1994, ‘White Pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) as monitors of organochlorine and metal contamination in the Great Lakes’, J. Great Lakes Res. 20, 277–288.Google Scholar
  80. White, D. H. and Kaiser, T.E.: 1976, ‘Residues of organochlorines and heavy metals in ruddy ducks from the Delaware River, 1973’, Pestic. Monit. J. 9, 155–156.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Whitehead, P. E., Elliott, J. E., Norstrom, R. J. and Vermeer, K.: 1990, ‘PCDD and PCDF contamination of waterfowl in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada: 1989–1990’, Organohalogen Compounds 1, 459–462.Google Scholar
  82. Wiemeyer, S. N.: 1996, ‘Other Organochlorine Pesticides in Birds’, in: W. N. Beyer, G. H. Heinz and A. W. Redmon-Norwood (eds), Environmental Contaminants in Wildlife: Interpreting Tissue Concentrations, SETAC Spec. Publ. Ser., CRC Press Inc, Boca Raton, USA, pp. 99–115.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Wildlife Research Centre, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment CanadaCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Malone AssociatesOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations