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Perfluoroalkyl contaminant exposure in tree swallows nesting at Clarks Marsh, Oscoda, Michigan, USA

April 6, 2019

A site in north eastern Michigan, Oscoda Township, has some of the highest recorded exposure in birds to perfluorinated substances (PFASs) in the U.S. Some egg and plasma concentrations at that location exceeded the lowest reproductive effect threshold established for two avian laboratory species. The objectives of this study were to determine whether there were reproductive effects or physiological responses in a model bird species, the tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), associated with this extremely high exposure to PFASs. The lack of exposure above background to other contaminants at this site allowed for an assessment of PFAS effects without the complication that responses may be caused by other contaminants. A secondary objective was to determine the distribution of PFASs in multiple tissue types to better understand and interpret residues in different tissues. This can best be done at highly exposed locations where tissue concentrations would be expected to be above detectable levels if they are present in that tissue. There were no demonstrable effects of PFAS exposure on reproduction nor on most physiological responses.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Perfluoroalkyl contaminant exposure in tree swallows nesting at Clarks Marsh, Oscoda, Michigan, USA
DOI 10.1007/s00244-019-00620-1
Authors Christine M. Custer, Thomas W. Custer, Robert Delaney, Paul Dummer, Sandra L. Schultz, Natalie K. Karouna-Renier
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Series Number
Index ID 70203719
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center