Atmospheric pollution in urban areas is a major worldwide concern with potential adverse impacts on wildlife and humans. Biomonitoring can provide direct evidence of the bioavailability and bioaccumulation of toxic metals in the environment that is not available with mechanical air monitoring. The current study continues our evaluation of the usefulness of homing pigeon lung tissue as a biomonitor of atmospheric pollution. Homing pigeons (1–2, 5–6, and 9–10+ year old (yo)) collected from Guangzhou during 2015 were necropsied and concentrations of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) were measured in lung tissue. Lung Cd and Pb concentrations were significantly greater in 9–10+-year-old pigeons compared with those in other age groups, indicating their bioavailability and bioaccumulation. Lung Pb and Cd concentrations measured in 5-yo pigeons collected from Guangzhou during 2015 were significantly lower than concentrations reported in 5-yo homing pigeons collected from Guangzhou during 2011 and correlated with concentrations measured using mechanical air monitoring. In addition to temporal differences, spatial differences in concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Hg reported in ambient air samples and in pigeon lung tissues collected from Beijing and Guangzhou are discussed.
Ecotoxicology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2017
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