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Exposure and effects of bioaccumulative contaminants of emerging concern in tree swallows nesting across the Laurentian Great Lakes

July 9, 2022

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are a loosely defined group of chemicals whose wide-spread usage or presence in the environment has occurred more recently or for which there has been relatively little research done until recently. Many of these CECs are not currently regulated. The National Toxicology Program within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 2000 CECs are introduced each year (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/about/). An unknown number may pose a risk to human or animal health. The Phase 1 (2010 – 2014) CEC work in birds, which is the subject of this report, assessed exposure across the Great Lakes to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds (PFASs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and put those exposures into context with data from biologically relevant endpoints such as reproductive success, as well as, physiological response indicators (bioindicators) to assess possible effects. The group of chemicals included in Phase 1 were mainly those chemicals that bioaccumulate in tissues. Phase 2 (2015 – 2019) CEC work with tree swallows was expanded to include CECs whose occurrence in the environment is more temporary or seasonal, and that do not necessarily bioaccumulate. These are often called pseudo-persistent, because, while they are not long-lived in the environment, there are often daily inputs via waste water treatment plants, and run-off from farm fields and storm drainages, thereby making them available to biota year-round. These include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and newer pesticides including herbicides. Tree swallow work on these less persistent CECs will be reported in the future, however see other Appendices in this report for information on some of these types of CECs (Appendices A, B, D).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Exposure and effects of bioaccumulative contaminants of emerging concern in tree swallows nesting across the Laurentian Great Lakes
DOI 10.23645/epacomptox.21044455
Authors Christine M. Custer, Thomas W. Custer, Paul Dummer
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Index ID 70236921
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center