A great blue heron (Ardea herodias) colony on Pig's Eye Island on the Mississippi River near St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, is located near several potential perfluorinated compound (PFC) sources. The PFC concentrations in great blue heron eggs reported from a 1993 collection from the Pig's Eye colony were among the highest measured in bird eggs worldwide. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether PFC concentrations in great blue heron eggs at the Pig's Eye colony have changed since 1993. Total PFC concentrations in great blue heron eggs collected at the Pig's Eye colony in 2010 and 2011 (geometric mean = 340 and 492 ng/g wet wt) were 60% lower than the 1993 collection (1,015 ng/g wet wt). Among PFCs, perfluoroalkyl sulfonate concentrations were lower and perfluoroalkyl carboxylate concentrations were higher in the 2010 and 2011 collections. Two of 20 (10%) of the eggs analyzed from Pig's Eye in 2010 and 2011 were >1,000 ng PFCs/g wet weight and the maximum PFC value (2,506 ng PFCs/g wet wt) measured in 2010 and 2011 was among the highest PFC concentration reported in bird eggs. These high concentrations are at levels associated with physiological and neurological effects in birds.
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Perfluorinated compound concentrations in great blue heron eggs near St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, in 1993 and 2010-2011