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JDR Vol.3 No.3 pp. 196-205
(2008)
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2008.p0196

Review:

Contamination Status and Toxicological Implications of Persistent Toxic Substances in Avian Species

Tatsuya Kunisue and Shinsuke Tanabe

Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho, 2-5 Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577, Japan

Received:
December 10, 2007
Accepted:
December 14, 2007
Published:
June 1, 2008
Keywords:
persistent toxic substances, avian species, open ocean, Japan
Abstract

The present study reviewed the contamination status and accumulation features of persistent toxic substances (PTSs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in avian species from Japan and open sea areas. PTSs were detected not only in Japanese coastal and inland birds but also in open sea birds, suggesting global-scale pollution by these contaminants. Higher concentrations of PBDEs were observed in Japanese raptor and omnivore species, while PCB levels in piscivorous birds were notably higher than in other species. Interestingly, relatively high concentrations of dioxins and related compounds (DRCs) such as PCDDs, PCDFs, and dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) were found in open sea birds, such as albatross species. Toxic equivalents (TEQs) of PCDDs, PCDFs, and DL-PCBs, which were calculated using toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for birds proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), were greater in albatross eggs than some avian toxicity thresholds, implying possible biochemical alterations by DRCs in albatross embryos. These results indicate that many avian species inhabiting Japan and the open ocean have been exposed to region-specific PTSs that may have put them at risk.

Cite this article as:
Tatsuya Kunisue and Shinsuke Tanabe, “Contamination Status and Toxicological Implications of Persistent Toxic Substances in Avian Species,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.3, No.3, pp. 196-205, 2008.
Data files:
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