Formalin preservation, freezing, spoiling followed by freezing, and phenoxyethanol were compared in terms of concentrations of DDT, DDD, DDE, endrin, and hepatachlor epoxide measured in brain, liver and carcass of birds fed dietary dosages of pesticides and in spiked egg homogenate. Phenoxyethanol proved to be an unsatisfactory preservative; the amount of 'extractable lipid' was excessive, and measurements of concentrations in replicates were erratic. Concentrations of residues in formalin-preserved and frozen samples did not differ significantly in any tissue. Percentage lipid in brains and eggs, however, were significantly lower in formalin-preserved samples. Samples of muscle and liver that had been spoiled before freezing yielded less DDD, and muscle samples yielded more DDT than formalin-preserved samples. The authors conclude that formalin preservation is a satisfactory method for preservation of field samples and that the warming and spoiling of samples that may occur unavoidably in the field will not result in misleading analytical results.
Additional publication details
Comparison of methods of preserving tissues for pesticide analysis