Blood biopsy for chemical analysis is a valuable technique for evaluating chemical exposure of birds in the wild without harming the birds. Field conditions, however, often make sample storage difficult. Better methods than freezing are needed to improve the interpretive value of chemical analysis of the sample. The use of formalin was explored for this purpose. A pooled sample of blood containing naturally incorporated 1,1-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (DDT), 2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl)1,1 dichloroethylene (DDE), and dieldrin was subdivided into 30 samples, of which 10 were frozen, 10 more were kept at room temperature, and 10 were formalinized by adding I part of chemically pure formalin to 20 parts of blood. The formalinized samples yielded the highest and least variable concentrations of chemicals. The field procedures are outlined.
Additional Publication Details
Formalin preservation of avian blood for organochlorine analysis