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      Levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and Organochlorine Pesticides in Various Tissues of White-Backed Vulture in India

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      1 , 2 , * , 1
      BioMed Research International
      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Abstract

          This study provides information on the current status of contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the tissues of endangered White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis in India. Chemical analyses revealed detectable amounts of PAHs, PCBs, and OCPs. Concentration ranges of PAHs, PCBs, and OCPs in tissues were 60–2037 ng/g, 30–5790 ng/g, and 3.2–5836 ng/g wet weight, respectively. 1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene ( p,p′-DDE) concentrations ranged from below detectable level to 599 ng/g wet weight, representing more than 90% of the total dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Among the various OCPs analyzed, p,p′-DDE was detected most frequently. All the contaminants recorded show higher accumulation in liver than other tissues. Levels of contaminants measured in the tissues of vulture are comparable with the levels documented in a number of avian species and are lower than those reported to have caused deleterious effects. Although no threat is expected from the current level of contamination, the presence of varying levels of contaminants and their additive or synergistic toxicity is a cause of concern to vultures. Values reported in this study can serve as guideline for future research.

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          Most cited references54

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          Diclofenac residues as the cause of vulture population decline in Pakistan.

          The Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV; Gyps bengalensis) was once one of the most common raptors in the Indian subcontinent. A population decline of >95%, starting in the 1990s, was first noted at Keoladeo National Park, India. Since then, catastrophic declines, also involving Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris, have continued to be reported across the subcontinent. Consequently these vultures are now listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International. In 2000, the Peregrine Fund initiated its Asian Vulture Crisis Project with the Ornithological Society of Pakistan, establishing study sites at 16 OWBV colonies in the Kasur, Khanewal and Muzaffargarh-Layyah Districts of Pakistan to measure mortality at over 2,400 active nest sites. Between 2000 and 2003, high annual adult and subadult mortality (5-86%) and resulting population declines (34-95%) (ref. 5 and M.G., manuscript in preparation) were associated with renal failure and visceral gout. Here, we provide results that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure. Diclofenac residues and renal disease were reproduced experimentally in OWBVs by direct oral exposure and through feeding vultures diclofenac-treated livestock. We propose that residues of veterinary diclofenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.
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            Dioxin-like and non-dioxin-like toxic effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): implications for risk assessment.

            Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic contaminants in the environment. Individual PCB congeners exhibit different physicochemical properties and biological activities that result in different environmental distributions and toxicity profiles. The variable composition of PCB residues in environmental matrices and their different mechanisms of toxicity complicate the development of scientifically based regulations for the risk assessment. In this article various approaches for the assessment of risks of PCBs have been critically examined. Recent developments in the toxic equivalency factor (TEF) approach for the assessment of toxic effects due to dioxin-like PCBs have been examined. PCB exposure studies that describe non-dioxin-like toxic effects, particularly neurobehavioral effects and their effective doses in animals were compiled. A comparative assessment of effective doses for dioxin-like and non-dioxin-like effects by PCBs has been made to evaluate the relative significance of non-ortho-and ortho-substituted PCBs in risk assessment. Using mink as an example, relative merits and implications of using TEF and total PCB approaches for assessing the potential for toxic effects in wildlife was examined. There are several advantages and limitations associated with each method used for PCB risk assessment. Toxic effects due to coplanar PCBs occur at relatively smaller concentrations than those due to non-dioxin-like PCBs and therefore the TEF approach derives the risk assessment of PCBs, in the environment. The need for the refinement of TEF approach for more accurate assessment of risks is discussed.
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              Polyaromatic hydrocarbon and PAH metabolite burdens in oiled common guillemots (Uria aalge) stranded on the east coast of England (2001 -2002).

              Aside from the physical effects of oiling (e.g., hypothermia, dehydration, emaciation), chronic toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contamination is an important factor influencing long-term recovery of oiled sea birds following an oil spill. Monitoring PAH exposure can help identify populations at risk from toxic effects of PAHs for further study and/or protection. This is the first studyto quantify PAH and metabolite tissue burdens in sea birds directly oiled following oil spills. PAHs and hydroxylated PAHs were quantified in liver samples from oiled Common Guillemots (Uria aalge) stranded along the East Coast of England using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). Mean parent and metabolite PAH concentrations were 0.25+/-0.09 (range 0.04-0.97) and 0.52+/-0.14 (range 0.05-1.48) microg/g (wet wt.), respectively. The main source of PAH exposure was via ingestion of crude oil during preening, resulting in PAH uptake and tissue contamination beyond levels expected from exposure via the food chain. PAH composition corresponded with number of benzene rings in each compound and was typical of contamination from petrogenic sources; pentacyclic < tri- and tetracyclic < tricyclic < dicyclic PAHs. The occurrence of PAH metabolites detected in liver samples also provided evidence of the presence and stereoselectivity of hepatic microsomal CYP1A1 in common guillemots.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biomed Res Int
                Biomed Res Int
                BMRI
                BioMed Research International
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                2314-6133
                2314-6141
                2013
                6 November 2013
                : 2013
                Affiliations
                1Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Anaikatty, Coimbatore 641108, India
                2Industrial Hygiene & Toxicology Division, Regional Occupational Health Centre (Southern), ICMR Complex, Kannamangala PO, Devanahalli TK, Bangalore 562 110, India
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Qaisar Mahmood

                Article
                10.1155/2013/190353
                3830878
                505a9098-8b8f-4ac0-8326-23e00f685614
                Copyright © 2013 V. Dhananjayan and S. Muralidharan.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research Article

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