Lead exposure in passerines inhabiting lead-contaminated floodplains in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho, USA

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 

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Abstract

Blood collected from song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) and American robins (Turdus migratorius) captured with mist nets in a lead-contaminated (assessment) area and nearby uncontaminated (reference) areas within the Coeur d'Alene Basin in northern Idaho was analyzed for d-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity (ALAD) and hematocrit levels, and livers were analyzed for lead. Mean ALAD inhibition in the assessment area was 51% in song sparrows and 75% in American robins. The proportion of the sampled population with ALAD inhibition >50% was calculated to be 43% for song sparrows and 83% for American robins. Assessment area hematocrit values for song sparrows (0 = 39.9) and American robins (0 = 39.5) were lower than in reference areas (0 = 42.4 for song sparrows and 40.2 for American robins); however, differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Significantly higher levels of lead (wet weight) were found in livers from song sparrows captured on the assessment area (0 = 1.93 ppm) than on reference areas (0 = 0.10 ppm) (p = 0.0079). Study results indicate that 43% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 12.9-77.5%) of the song sparrows and 83% (95% CI = 41.8-99.2%) of the American robins inhabiting the floodplain along the Coeur d'Alene River in the assessment area are being exposed to lead at levels sufficient to inhibit ALAD by > 50%. Variability in lead exposure indicators was attributed to high variability in environmental lead concentrations in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lead exposure in passerines inhabiting lead-contaminated floodplains in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho, USA
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume 18
Issue 6
Year Published 1999
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 1190-1194
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page 1190
Last page 1194