Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) samples were collected at a reference lake and a nearby lake (Lake Johanna) in east central Minnesota, USA contaminated with perfluorinated carboxylic and sulfonic acids. Tissues were analyzed for a suite of 13 perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) to quantify exposure and to determine if there was an association between egg concentrations of PFCs and reproductive success of tree swallows. Concentrations of perfluoroocatane sulfonate (PFOS) were elevated in all tree swallow tissues from Lake Johanna compared to tissues collected at the reference lake. Other PFCs, except for two, were elevated in blood plasma at Lake Johanna compared to the reference lake. PFOS was the dominant PFC (>75%) at Lake Johanna, but accounted for <50% of total PFCs at the reference lake. There was a negative association between concentrations of PFOS in eggs and hatching success. Reduced hatching success was associated with PFOS levels as low as 150 ng/g wet weight.
Additional publication details
Exposure and effects of perfluoroalkyl compounds on tree swallows nesting at Lake Johanna in east central Minnesota, USA