Eagle tissues from dead eagle carcasses were collected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel at various locations in the Pacific Northwest as part of a study to document the occurrence of metal and metalloid contaminants. A group of 182 eagle tissue samples, consisting of liver, kidney, brain, talon, feather, femur, humerus, and stomach contents, were quantitatively analyzed for concentrations of selenium and mercury by atomic absorption techniques, and for other elements by semi-quantitative scan with an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer. For the various tissue matrices analyzed by an ICP-MS semiquantitative scan, some elemental concentrations (micrograms per gram dry weight) were quite variable within a particular matrix; notable observations were as follows: lead concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 31 in femurs, 0.1 to 29 in humeri, 0.1 to 54 in talons, less than (<) 0.05 to 120 in livers, <0.05 to 34 in kidneys, and 0.05 to 8 in brains; copper concentrations ranged from 5 to 9 in feathers, 8 to 47 in livers, 7 to 43 in kidneys, and 7 to 28 in brains; cadmium concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 10 in kidneys. In stomach contents, concentrations of vanadium ranged from 0.08 to 5, chromium 2 to 34, manganese 1 to 57, copper 2 to 69, arsenic <0.05 to 6, rubidium 1 to 13, and barium <0.5 to 18. Selenium concentrations from highest to lowest based on the matrix mean were as follows: kidney, liver, feather, brain, stomach content, talon, femur, and humerus. For mercury, the highest to lowest concentrations were feather, liver, talon, brain, stomach content, femur, and humerus.
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Quantitative determination of selenium and mercury, and an ICP-MS semi-quantitative scan of other elements in samples of eagle tissues collected from the Pacific Northwest--Summer 2011