Black duck (Anas rubripes) eggs were collected during 1978 in the Atlantic Flyway. One egg from each of 49 clutches was analyzed for organochlorine compounds and mercury. DDE was detected in 39 eggs, ranging from 0.09 ppm to 3.4 ppm, wet weight. DDE residues were highest in eggs from Delaware, where the mean DDE level was 2.0 ppm. DDT and TDE were present at Iow levels in only five and four eggs, respectively. PCBs resembling Aroclor 1260 were detected in 24 eggs and ranged from 0.43 ppm to 2.9 ppm. Eggs from Massachusetts and Rhode Island contained an average of >1.0 ppm PCBs, but eggs from Nova Scotia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia contained no detectable PCBs. Dieldrin, oxychlordane, and heptachlor epoxide were present in a few samples at low levels. Mercury was detected in 31 eggs, ranging from 0.07 ppm to 0.34 ppm, wet weight. Twenty eggs analyzed for chromium, copper, and arsenic contained averages of 0.64 ppm, 1.7 ppm, and 0.18 ppm, respectively. No geographic pattern was observed in these metal residue levels. Eggshell thickness (0.347 mm) was identical to the pre-1946 norm.
Additional publication details
Organochlorine and heavy metal residues in black duck eggs from the Atlantic Flyway, 1978