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PW01 Wildlife Toxicology
(PW016) Chlorinated hydrocarbons and heavy metals in mink (Mustela vison) from the coast of British Columbia.
Wilson, L1, Elliott, J1, 1 Canadian Wildlife Service, Delta, BC, Canada
ABSTRACT- Carcasses of trapper-caught mink were collected at sites suspected or known to have elevated PCBs in the Georgia Basin as well as near a cellulose mill in Prince Rupert, site of a PCB spill in the 1980s. A total of 119 mink carcasses were obtained during the winters 1998-2002. All carcasses were examined for abnormalities and morphometric endpoints including age, sex, body condition, sub-cutaneous fat, body and organ weights and baculum weight and length were collected. Tissue from a sub-set of carcasses (n=60) were analyzed for PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, cadmium and lead; selected samples (n=16) were also analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and mercury. Results are reported in wet weight basis for organochlorines and dry weight for metals. Organochlorine concentrations in the 35 carcasses analyzed to date were low, with only DDE detected in all samples and at concentrations ranging from 10 to 112 ug/kg and oxychlordane detected in 74% of samples at concentrations ranging from 10 to 246 ug/kg. TCDD-toxic equivalency values were also low, with concentrations ranging from 3.35 to 37.6 ng/kg (n=11). Concentrations of cadmium, mercury and lead ranged from 0.11-17.8 ug/g (n=30), 0.92-11.6 ug/g (n=15), 0.07-1.5 ug/g (n=15), respectively. PCBs were present in all samples analyzed to date (n=35) with a mean concentration of 103 ug/kg and values ranging from 3 to 712 ug/kg. Juvenile male mink from the Pitt River had the highest mean PCBs, 175 ug/kg, and the highest exposed individual 712 ug/kg, followed by Prince Rupert (mean 116 ug/kg, range 8-186 ug/kg), Fort Langley (mean 33 ug/kg, range 13-76 ug/kg), Victoria (mean 30 ug/kg, range 20-39 ug/kg) and Chemainus (mean 16 ug/kg, range 1-26 ug/kg). Baculum length of juvenile males was not significantly correlated with total PCBs (p=0.33, n=20).
Key words: organochlorines, PCBs, baculum, mink
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