Distribution, biomagnification, and elimination of butyltin compound residues in common cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) from Lake Biwa, Japan

Department of Environment Conservation, Ehime University, Tarumi 3-5-7, Matsuyama 790, Japan.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Impact Factor: 1.96). 08/1996; 31(2):210-7. DOI: 10.1007/s002449900100
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Concentrations of butyltin compounds (BTs) were determined in various body tissues of common cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) collected from the Lake Biwa, Japan. Elevated concentrations of butyltins were detected in the feathers of cormorants. Among other organs and tissues, butyltin levels were also higher in the kidney (290+/-150 ng/g) and liver (270+/-260 ng/g), ranging from 115 to 544 ng/g and 142 to 1007 ng/g (wet wt basis), respectively. The accumulation of BTs in cormorant bodies was in the order of MBT>DBT>TBT and their organ specific burdens were in the order of muscle>/=feathers>skin>liver>rest of the tissues and organs. The higher levels of BTs residues in feather suggested the excretion of about one fourth of their body burden during a complete molting cycle, which has been a natural detoxification mechanism in these birds. Based on the whole body concentrations of BTs in cormorants (42-160 ng/g wet wt) and fish (10-55 ng/g wet wt) biomagnification factors were assessed to be in the range of 1.1-4.1. To our knowledge, this is the first fundamental study to substantially indicate the contamination and kinetics of BTs in wild birds.

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    • "Secondly, seasonal moulting may be an efficient elimination route of organotins. Feathers of cormorants may contain 20–30% of the total body-burden of butyltins (Guruge et al., 1996). Apparently feathers contain proteins that have a high affinity for tin. "
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    • "However, the long-term ecotoxicological effects of organotins on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems are still not well understood, particularly with respect to biomagnification in food webs (Guruge et al., 1996; Jak et al., 1998; Kannan et al., 1996; Kim et al., 1996; Stäb et al., 1996). TBT and TPT act via different modes of action. "
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    • "thick-billed murre) in polluted coastal areas. However, a higher capacity to metabolise BTs (Guruge et al., 1996~) or elimination through longterm moulting and egg-laying could result in lower accumulation in internal organs. Even though usage of TBT has been severely restricted in many developed countries, rapid growth of the economy and population in developing countries, like in Asia, may prompt new sources of many chemicals including BTs into the aquatic ecosystem. "
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