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Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 146, Issue 1–3, pp 91–104 | Cite as

Spring-harvested game birds in the Western James Bay region of Northern Ontario, Canada: the amount of organochlorines in matched samples of breast muscle, skin, and abdominal fat

  • Leonard J. S. Tsuji
  • Ian D. Martin
  • Emily S. Martin
  • Alain LeBlanc
  • Pierre Dumas
Article

Abstract

We examined matched-tissue samples (the right pectoral muscle plus the associated skin and fat was considered a breast portion) of 81 spring-harvested waterfowl and 19 summer-harvested godwits (Limosa spp.) to assess the potential of these water birds contributing to the body burden of PCBs and DDT noted in First Nation people of the western James Bay region, northern Ontario, Canada. In general, the dabbling ducks (mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos; and northern pintail, A. acuta) had significantly lower percent lipid (gravimetrically determined) values in skin tissue, fat tissue, and breast muscle compared to the goose species (Canada goose, Branta canadensis; lesser snow goose, Chen caerulescens); godwits had percent lipid values not significantly different than ducks and geese. Also, the percent lipid values in skin for all species of birds examined approached those found in fat tissue. Organochlorine data were expressed as the amount (μg) of each contaminant per breast portion to show contaminant consumption in terms of typical and easily recognizable dietary portions; direct comparisons were made to acceptable daily intake (ADI) or tolerable daily intake (TDI) values as recommended by Health Canada. Significant differences in the amount of organochlorines between bird species for skin, fat tissue, and breast muscle samples were found. In general, breast portions from snow geese contained the least amount of organochlorines, followed by godwits (except for mirex) and then Canada geese; the dabbling ducks had the greatest amount of organochlorines on a breast portion basis. However, on average, no 60 kg person would exceed the calculated organochlorine ADI/TDI values consuming one breast portion (i.e., breast + associated skin and fat), but the maximum value of ΣPCBs for skin tissue alone in male mallards (47 μg) was more than twice the ADI/TDI (18 μg/day); while, that in fat tissue alone (17 μg) approached the ADI/TDI. Thus, the consumption of dabbling ducks by children is an issue that should be explored further, if tissue other than breast muscle is eaten. Lastly, the consumption of waterfowl was a source of PCBs for people of Fort Albany and Kashechewan, but not DDT, as this organochlorine was infrequently detected.

Keywords

Spring-harvested game birds Organochlorines First Nations Breast portion Skin and fat tissues  

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard J. S. Tsuji
    • 1
  • Ian D. Martin
    • 1
  • Emily S. Martin
    • 1
  • Alain LeBlanc
    • 2
  • Pierre Dumas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environment and Resource StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Centre de toxicologieInstitut national de sante publique du QuebecQuébecCanada

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