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Concentrations of chromium, manganese, and lead in air and in avian eggs

January 1, 2002

The expansion of urbanization introduces air pollution to wildlife areas. Some metal contaminants occurring in concentrations too small to have any measurable impact on adult birds may seriously affect embryos that are more sensitive to contaminants than the adult. Chromium, manganese, and lead are toxic and can be passed from the hen to the egg. This study relates the concentrations of these metals in eggs to their concentrations in air in three cities. Rock dove eggs were sampled and air pollution records were examined in the California cities of Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The eggs from San Francisco did not differ from those of Los Angeles in lead concentration but the air did differ. The eggs collected in Los Angeles in 1998 had concentrations of chromium greater than in those from Riverside and from Los Angeles 1999 but the air had concentrations of chromium that did not differ among those three collections. Concentrations of manganese did not differ among the eggs but did differ among the air samples of the three cities. Exposures of embryos to chromium and manganese in this study were not at levels warranting concern. Although the concentration at which lead in eggs impairs avian health is not established, the highest concentrations found in this study exceed estimated safe concentrations. There is no indication that embryo exposure is directly related to atmospheric levels of these metals in the cities of this study.

Publication Year 2002
Title Concentrations of chromium, manganese, and lead in air and in avian eggs
DOI 10.1016/S0269-7491(02)00158-6
Authors Clifford A. Hui
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Pollution
Index ID 1008302
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center