Organochlorine residues were measured in the carcasses and, in some cases, brains and stomach contents of four species of birds collected along the Sheboygan River, Wisconsin during the years 1976 to 1980. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were high in all samples and were the contaminants of greatest concern. Carcass residues ranged from 23 to 218 ppm PCBs on a wet weight basis; these are levels associated with reproductive impairment in laboratory studies with some birds. Food items in the stomachs of collected birds contained from 12 to 58 ppm PCBs, indicating a heavy contamination of food sources. The brain of one bird contained 220 ppm PCBs, a level that is not in the lethal range but is very high. Birds feeding in the contaminated portions of the Sheboygan River may have been harmed by high PCB levels.
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High PCB residues in birds from the Sheboygan River, Wisconsin