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Comparison of trace element accumulation in Baikal seals (Pusa sibirica), Caspian seals (Pusa caspica) and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus)

Comparison of trace element accumulation in Baikal seals (Pusa sibirica), Caspian seals (Pusa caspica) and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus)

Environmental Pollution 127(1): 83-97

Concentrations of 18 trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr, Zr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver, kidney, muscle and hair of Baikal seals, Caspian seals and northern fur seals. All the three species showed the highest concentrations of Hg, V, Mn, Se and Ag in liver, Cd, Co and Tl in kidney, and Cs in muscle among the soft tissues examined. The highest burdens of Zn, Rb and Cs were observed in muscle, Mo and Ag in liver, and Sb and Pb in hair in all the three species. Concentrations of non-essential elements, Rb, Cd, Cs and Hg, showed significant positive correlations among liver, kidney and muscle, whereas correlation coefficients for essential elements, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn and Se, between the three tissues were generally low for all the species, suggesting that homeostasis controls the concentrations of essential elements but not the non-essential elements in the tissues of these animals. Significant age-dependent increase was found in the concentrations of V, Se and Ag in liver and Hg in liver and kidney of all the three species. Hair concentrations showed significant positive correlations with Zn levels in liver and kidney and Hg in muscle for Caspian seals, Hg in liver and kidney for Baikal seals, and Pb in liver for northern fur seals. Furthermore, regression analysis using the data in the present study and in the literature showed significant positive correlations between Hg levels in hair, and liver, kidney and muscle for various species of pinnipeds. These results indicate the possibility of using hair samples for monitoring these trace elements in pinnipeds.

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Accession: 048607752

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PMID: 14553998

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