Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) collected in 1973 at 51 sites throughout the continental United States were analyzed for mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium. All samples contained detectable levels of these elements. In general, residues were low: mercury residues ranged from <0.01 to 0.20 ppm: lead, from <0.10 10 3.20 ppm: cadmium, from <0.05 to 0.20 ppm: arsenic, from <0.05 to 1.40 ppm: and selenium, from 0.10 to 1.10 ppm. There was a significant overall decline in mercury and lead residues in starlings since 1971, and a significant increase in arsenic residues. Lead residues were significantly higher in starlings from urban areas than from rural areas.
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Nationwide residues of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and selenium in starlings, 1973